- The Doctor regretted that since the liver is one of the major and largest organs in the body, the body tends to compensate on any problems, making it difficult to discover early stages of damages.
- "When in the early stages of liver disease, your body tends to compensate and you might not know that your liver has a problem," he said.
Kenyans have been warned against consuming more than 14 units of alcohol per week, to protect the liver against damages.
Speaking to the Star, a Resident Physician at The Nairobi Hospital Dr Mufaddal Shokat noted that over time, alcohol completely damages the liver.
"Alcohol which is ethanol, is a direct toxin that harms the liver. The liver has many cells which contains many proteins. Alcohol damages the cells directly, altering its physiological state. In simple terms it makes the cell malfunction," he explained.
This means that all the normal functions of a liver stops.
According to NHS, the recommended amount of alcohol 14 units of in a week.
"This is not at once but spread out over the seven days," Shokat said.
The 14 units represents at least six bottles of a regular beer in a week, spread out, in wine it is one and a half bottles of 12 per cent Alcohol By Volume wine.
It is equivalent of 14 25ml drams of Scotch whisky.
Shokat further advised against taking fatty meals as they overwhelm the liver leading to its damage, urging Kenyans to maintain a healthy diet.
These include plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and lean sources of protein.
"One of the functions of the liver is metabolism of the nutrients, with fat being among the nutrients. When we take fatty foods, the liver gets a burden working on it. When the load is too high, the liver gets into a position where it can't cope up and gets fat accumulation," he said.
He further advised Kenyans to avoid self-medication and indiscriminate use of the over- the-counter medications, noting that liver can be easily harmed when medications are taken wrongly or in the wrong mix.
Shokat also recommended that one seeks prescription from a doctor.
He also advised on vaccination especially against Hepatitis B which leads to serious liver disease.
He said the disease can last over several years, leading to progressive liver damage.
The Doctor regretted that since the liver is one of the major and largest organs in the body, the body tends to compensate on any problems, making it difficult to discover early stages of damages.
"When in the early stages of liver disease, your body tends to compensate and you might not know that your liver has a problem," he said.
He said by the time one starts noticing symptoms, it is already on the more serious stages.
Since the liver is in the right upper side of the abdomen, one of the signs is pain at that location.
Other signs include eyes turning yellow, fatigue, lack of appetite, nauseous and change in your urine color.
Shokat said in extreme cases when most of the liver is compromised, it tends to fail.
"At this stage, the rate of mortality is very high," he said.