World liver day is observed every year on April 19, to promote public awareness about the devastating consequences of various liver diseases and to elevate efforts to manage the symptoms for a long and healthy life. The liver is the second largest (skin being the first) and second most (obviously with the exception to the brain) organ in the body. The liver plays a pivotal part in carrying out several bodily functions, most importantly digestion, assimilation and excretion. Any abnormality or issue pertaining to the liver can abrupt the normal functioning of the human body and can lead to severe health problems. Hence, care must be taken, that the liver is of good health so as to avoid certain diseased conditions like hepatitis, fatty liver, liver failure, liver cirrhosis and even liver cancer.

Also Read: Say ‘no’ to fatty foods on World Liver Day
World Liver Day, April 19

Being one of the key players of maintaining optimum health and wellbeing of the body, the liver works extremely hard, performing hundreds of complex functions, including:

  • Regulating blood sugar levels
  • Fighting infections and illness by removing them from the blood stream
  • Removing toxic substances from the body
  • Controlling cholesterol levels
  • Helping blood to clot (thicken)
  • Releasing bile (a liquid that helps in breaking down fats and aids in digestion)

Liver disease is often referred to as a ‘silent condition’ as it doesn't usually cause any obvious signs or symptoms until it is fairly advanced and the liver is already on the pathway to damage. At this stage, possible symptoms are loss of appetite, weight loss and jaundice. Hence, it is highly necessary to know the facts so as to ensure that one is maintaining the healthiest lifestyle for the liver. There are so many misconceptions about liver disease and liver health. We have busted 5 common preconceptions about liver health for your knowledge.

Uncover The Common Misconceptions About Liver Diseases

Myth #1:

Liver conditions can be detected with a regular blood test


False. Doctors rarely suggest the specific blood tests that are required to check liver functions during a regular check-up. The transaminase levels that are diagnosed during regular blood tests aren’t enough to detect the particular underlying problem. A person also needs to be tested for the AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase) and ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) markers, which can show signs of cellular destruction within the liver, as well as Alkaline Phosphatases levels, which can very well detect a reduction in the bile secretion from the liver.

Myth #2:

Liver problems cause yellow skin and pains


Untrue. The various types of liver disease usually doesnot show any characteristic signs and symptoms at all. Hepatitis A, B and C, as well as cirrhosis, are sometimes diagnosed 20 to 30 years later, since the liver is often considered as a silent organ. Symptoms that might happen sometimes, like aches and pains in the liver are usually digestive symptoms caused by rich food or a high-fat diet.

Myth #3:

Spirits are worse for the liver than wine or beer


Completely erroneous. Liver specialists stress that it is actually the quantity of alcohol that matters for developing liver diseases, not the kind of drink one is preferring. Consuming good quality alcoholic drinks may make one feel better, but it doesn’t make the alcohol they contain any less damaging for the liver health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans Trusted Source defines moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Also Read: Liver Health: Learn About The Dietary Guidelines And Management To Treat Cirrhosis

Myth #4:

A liver transplant cures a liver disease once and for all


A liver transplant is usually considered as the last resort treatment for those with the most severe form of liver disease. It mainly replaces a diseased and poorly-functioning liver with either a whole or portion of a healthy donated liver. For some lucky individuals, a complete liver transplant may be lifesaving. However, for some people unfortunately the ideal result is not always achieved. The transplanted liver might get rejected by the body or it can fall prey to the original source of liver disease again.

Myth #5:

Alcohol is the sole contributor to liver disease


Partially True. Indeed, alcohol is one of the leading causes of liver damage and fatty liver. However, there are different ways the liver can sustain damage. An unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, genetics, obesity, drugs and toxins, autoimmune diseases and high cholesterol are all major causative factors contributing towards liver disease.