9 Things You Should Know About Your Liver
It is World Hepatitis Day and it is important that you have some insights into this deadly liver disease.
1. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.
The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world.
But other infections, toxic substances like alcohol, certain drugs, and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
2. There are 5 main hepatitis viruses.
They are referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.
These 5 types are of great concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause.
They also have the potential for outbreaks and epidemics.
In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
This year’s celebration theme is “Eliminate Hepatitis” and the Ministry of Health wants individuals and organisations in the health sector to create more awareness on dangers posed by viral hepatitis.
3. A silent killer.
Nigeria's Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole says the disease has been underrated in the country and many people have paid the ultimate price.
“But, what is particularly important is that the liver is the engine room of the body.
“When the engine room of the factory is faulty, the entire system will not be able to work, and hepatitis affects the liver.
“Two are particularly dangerous, that is hepatitis B and C. They not only cause problem for the liver, they lead to chronic liver problem where people develop abdominal swelling.
“In some, it results in liver cancer. This is why it is important for us to tackle hepatitis with seriousness.
‘“But, the good thing about hepatitis is that it is also preventable, that is why we need to create awareness among our people, we need to let them know,” he added.
4. You can contract the disease through faecal-oral transmission, particularly A and E which is already in some parts of Borno State.
5. It is transmitted through contaminated water. Stay away from hepatitis by disposing faeces from the body carefully.
6. Drink clean and safe water.
7. Avoiding contact with contaminated blood, body fluid.
8. Give your children vaccine against hepatitis B and C, which can also be transmitted to new born. It is available during immunisation. It is free.
9. If you are an adult, get tested to know your status.
It is treatable if it is discovered early. Save yourself!