Fatty Liver Millions of Filipinos at risk for “silent epidemic”

Last year my mom went to get her routine health laboratory like blood extractions, ECG, Ultrasound along with other request from their doctor. She got her Ultrasound and one of the results she received that she has fatty liver. As we usually do we would ask ourselves what does this means and we would immediately wanted to see the doctor.

As we get older we need voluntary check ourselves and make sure follow every instruction and advice of our doctors. Avoid taking herbal medicine without the consent of the doctor. Herbal medicine for others can do good but this is not for everybody.

I was able to attend this webinar by the Hepatology Society of the Philippines and I get to learn more about fatty liver. This has helped me to know more about it and that fatty liver is nor only be acquired thru drinking alcohol but with other factors.

At least 18 million Filipinos are either suffering from or at risk of a disease considered a silent epidemic.

This is one of the alarming pieces of information presented at the recent online press conference titled “Fatty Liver Facts: What You Need to Know About This Silent Epidemic” organized by the Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP).

The “silent epidemic” is called fatty liver disease, which affects millions around the world. It has no symptoms at the early stages, which is why many people are unaware that they have it until it’s too late.

“Fatty liver disease is a little-known, potentially fatal condition affecting many people,” noted Dr. Allan Policarpio, President of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology. “The public can learn about it by listening to experts.”

There are two types of non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — non alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and its more advanced type, the non alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The main characteristic of both is too much fat stored in liver cells. Having small amounts of fat in the liver is normal, but it becomes a problem if more than 5% to 10% percent of the liver’s weight is fat.

Dr. Edhel S. Tripon of HSP stated that fatty liver is the fastest rising cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis worldwide. “People who are overweight, diabetic, or hypertensive are prone to developing fatty liver.”

The Philippines has over 18 million obese and overwieght people. They are all susceptible to NAFLD, noted Dr. Diana Alcantara-Payawal, President of the Philippine College of Physicians. “Some of them may already have fatty liver disease but are unaware of it,” she added.

Dr. Tripon stressed the importance of keeping the liver healthy. “The liver is a multitasking hard worker, so it is important to keep this organ as healthy as possible. A healthy liver is fundamental to wellness.”

To lower the risk of developing fatty liver disease, HSP Vice President Dr. Wendell Z. Espinosa said “we need to raise awareness about how to avoid modifiable risk factors among adolescents and young adults. We need to increase the public’s awareness about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which would likely lead to better prevention, early detection, and treatment of the disorder.”

The Hepatology Society of the Philippines is the lead organization in the study and care of liver health and disease among Filipinos. HSP provides research, education, and advocacy on liver health and liver-related diseases. Part of its mission is to share information, services, and expertise with the global community towards the prevention and treatment of liver diseases.

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About Cor

I am a single mom of all boys. I love cars, food, traveling and anything in between.