Alternative medicines not based on scientific research: Expert
It is the second largest organ of the human body after the skin, yet there is a general lack of awareness and a plethora of myths that surround liver and its ailments such as jaundice, fatty liver disease and hepatitis. In fact, liver specialists point out that modern lifestyle, messy eating habits and existing deep-rooted practices are also the leading causes for spike in liver ailments.
Preference for ‘alternative’ medicine or so the called ‘local’ cure for jaundice by patients remains a major cause of concern among the care-givers. While herbal and ‘Jadi-Buti’ medications claim to cure jaundice, hepatitis and even other liver ailments, doctors point out that there was no hard scientific research on fining the medicinal properties of these medicines.
By the time patients, who have tried and failed with local medications, reach hospitals, 95 per cent of their liver would have lost its functionality. Lack of timely intervention could also lead to chronic liver ailments that may, eventually leave patients with the final option of undergoing a liver transplant, which is an expensive option.
Interestingly, among the well to do families, incidence of fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis), diabetes and obesity are interlinked and on the rise.
“It’s due to bad lifestyle. Consumption of fatty food, excessive intake of oils, ghee and rich fried food is steadily on the rise. High intake of such food first causes obesity, diabetes and then liver disease. There is no awareness that all these are interlinked,” laments liver transplant specialist Dr. Manisha Bangar.
Ailments such as hepatitis, which are preventable, are on the rise and there is little awareness on aspects like availability of vaccines and need to take precautions like personal hygiene.
In Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the prevalence of Hepatitis B is at around four per cent, which is almost same as the national average of four to five per cent.
Major causes for Hepatitis A and E are due to unhygienic food, water and general lack sanitation of our neighbourhood.
Hepatitis B and C infection is person to person such as blood transfusions, etc.
There are well-developed vaccines for Hepatitis B and A, which should be administered to children, doctors point out.
“Vaccination for Hepatitis should be made mandatory and included in the universal immunisation programme of the government. Screening, awareness and lifestyle modifications are a must for a health liver,” Dr. Mainsha adds.