Myths & Facts About Liver Diseases

By Dr. Sanjiv Saigal in Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Endoscopy

Apr 12 , 2023 | 2 min read

Myths About Liver Diseases

  1. Liver disease only affects heavy drinkers: This is a common misconception, as liver disease can occur due to causes such as viral hepatitis, obesity, and certain medications.

  2. Liver disease is not preventable: This is not true, as adopting a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing liver disease.

  3. Liver disease is always fatal: While liver disease can be serious, it is not always fatal. Early detection and treatment can improve the outcome.

  4. Liver disease is primarily a problem for older people: Liver disease can affect people of all ages, including children.

Facts About Liver Diseases

  1. Liver disease can be silent: Many types of liver disease do not cause symptoms until they have progressed to an advanced stage. Therefore, regular health checkups and monitoring of liver function is important. 

  2. The liver has many functions: The liver is responsible for the synthesis of proteins, detoxifying blood, producing bile that aids in digestion, and storing nutrients such as glycogen, vitamins and minerals. 

  3. Alcohol is not the only cause of liver disease: While excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver disease, other factors such as obesity, viral hepatitis, and genetic disorders can also contribute. 

  4. Liver disease can be treatedTreatment options for liver disease depend on the cause and severity of the disease but can include medication, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgery or a liver transplant

  5. Prevention is key: Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting vaccinated for viral hepatitis, are important measures to prevent liver disease. It is also important to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins and to take medications only as directed by a healthcare professional. 

  6. Early detection improves outcomes: Regular health checkups and monitoring of liver function can help detect liver disease at an early stage when it is more treatable. Symptoms of liver disease, including fatigue, jaundice, and abdominal pain, should be promptly evaluated by a healthcare professional. 

  7. healthy diet can support liver health: A diet high in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein can support liver function and overall health. Avoiding saturated fats, processed foods, and added sugars can also be beneficial.

  8. Support and education can help: Living with liver disease can be challenging, and support from family, friends, and healthcare providers can be helpful. Education about the disease and available treatments can empower patients to take an active role in managing their health.

  9. Alcohol consumption can adversely affect liver health: Excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and increase the risk of developing liver disease, ranging from fatty liver in early stages to cirrhosis and liver cancer in advanced stages. It is important to limit alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether.

  10. Liver disease can be managed: Liver disease is a serious condition, but with proper management and care, many people with liver disease can lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases, surgery or even liver transplantation. Close monitoring and follow-up with a healthcare provider are important for managing liver disease.