Named the most common liver disease in Russians, and it’s not cirrhosis

Up to 25% of residents of large cities in Russia today suffer from fatty liver disease.

Up to 25% of residents of large cities in Russia today suffer from fatty liver disease.

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Up to 25% of residents of large cities in Russia (that is, almost one in four!) Today suffer from fatty liver disease. A gastroenterologist, hepatologist, head of the center for personalized medicine told about this on the air of the Doctor TV channel David Matevosov. The second most common group is viral hepatitis. The best known of these are hepatitis A (Botkin’s disease), chronic viral hepatitis B and C. Next, according to the expert, are autoimmune hepatitis. These are diseases in which the immune system fails and begins to hit on a person’s own organs and tissues.

The number of toxic hepatitis has also recently increased. And among them, doctors for the first time began to distinguish covid and post-covid drug-induced liver lesions. The first is caused by the coronavirus itself, which can damage liver cells. The second, as they say, is the work of human hands. And to put it simply – the consequences of excesses in the treatment of the “corona”.

– Now scientists and doctors distinguish a group of covid and post-covid hepatitis into a separate, new branch. And they are actively studying the information accumulated over the past two years, – said David Matevosov.

How can we save our liver? And how to avoid those very excesses, due to which the consequences of the treatment are almost more severe than the initial illness? Komsomolskaya Pravda collected scientific data and expert advice.


In the medical literature and in patient records, this affliction is referred to as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. As you probably guessed, most of the time it occurs in overweight people. And we have more and more of them. According to the latest data, a third of the adult population of Russia has excess fat accumulation.

With NAFLD, excess fat is deposited in the liver and prevents it from working properly. Inflammation often develops, followed by fibrosis (actually scarring instead of normal liver cells). In the worst cases, fatty disease leads to cirrhosis and cancer, liver carcinoma.

The good news is that mild forms are more common. If the matter has not yet reached fibrosis, which is irreversible today, then often NAFLD can be managed. And the main method of treatment that has proven to be effective is… lifestyle changes!

“Currently, no drugs or surgery are approved for the treatment of NAFLD. Lifestyle modification (diet, physical activity and dietary modification) remains the cornerstone of the approach to patient management,” emphasizes magazine “Evidence-Based Gastroenterology” for 2021.

Keep this in mind if you are rolled out a list of a dozen drugs, including expensive hepatoprotectors. By the way, the latter failed repeatedly in various studies when trying to prove their performance according to the standards of evidence-based medicine.


Save yourself from obesity

First of all, men with a waist circumference of more than 102 cm and women – more than 88 cm are at risk.

The second risk factor is an elevated body mass index (BMI). To calculate it, take your height in meters, square it. And then divide the body weight in kg by the resulting figure.

Results: BMI up to 25 – normal; from 25 to 30 – overweight; more than 30 – obesity.

What to do? Hepatologists recommend:

1) Get rid of excess weight,

2) Mandatory physical activity! The bigger, the better. But without fanaticism – so that the pulse does not go off scale and there is no constant excruciating pain in the muscles. And these are not just beautiful words about the benefits of sports. “Physical exercise has a protective effect on the liver,” confirmed in an interview a gastroenterologist, MD, professor at Sechenov University Alexey Bueverov.

3) Limit animal fats (butter, fatty sour cream, fatty meat) and minimize any fast carbohydrates: sweets, pastries, etc.

4) Load up on vegetables.

5) Drink coffee – this drink has been proven to reduce the risk of liver disease.

! Do not get carried away with fruits and honey, Professor Bueverov advises. Fructose in the body is quickly sent for processing into fats. To reduce this effect, fruits are recommended to be eaten only after the main meal and in reasonable quantities (not in bowls).


How not to overdo it with pills during covid

Experts give such examples of the most frequent excesses in treatment, fraught, among other things, with a powerful blow to the liver:

– the appointment of a large number of antibiotics: 2-3, or even four drugs per course of treatment;

– abuse of hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs (corticosteroids);

– taking immunomodulators (they do not have a confirmed effect according to the standards of evidence-based medicine);

– taking antiviral drugs (the anti-covid effect of only a few drugs has been convincingly confirmed, while all antiviral drugs have serious side effects).

! Doctors advise:

– Do not self-medicate. Do not swallow pills after reading life hacks on the Internet.

– If you are prescribed a long list of drugs or are given them in a hospital, ask questions: why are these drugs prescribed? What are the grounds?

– If you have doubts about the effectiveness and safety of treatment approaches, call the hotline of the medical insurance company that issued you the CHI policy.

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