World NASH Day: Avoid unhealthy fatty foods — Medical Expert, Dr David Okorafor

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A Medical Expert, Dr David Okorafor, has advised Nigerians to avoid unhealthy fatty foods and lifestyle that could lead to Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).

He gave the advice during a webinar/Media Dialogue organised by Lafia Wealth Initiative, an NGO, to commemorate the 2021 International Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) Day.

Report says that the day is marked every June 10 globally to raise visibility and urgency around fatty liver disease and its more advanced form which is NASH.

Okorafor, who described steatohepatitis as a type of fatty liver disease, characterised by inflammation of the liver with concurrent fat accumulation, said records had shown that 20 per cent of the world population have NASH.

He said “steatohepatitis is a silent killer disease because it has no major symptoms in the early stages.

“Obesity is one of the major causes of fatty liver, so there is need for people to cut down on calorie intake and know the appropriate and healthy fat for the body.

“We cannot do away with fat because the body needs it, but animal fat should be avoided to prevent fatty liver disease.

“Exercise is also a good avenue to reduce or prevent obesity that may progress to fatty liver disease.

“Diabetes is also a leading cause of fatty liver disease.

“NASH disease is preventable, but the moment it progresses further to Cirrhosis (last stage of scarring of the liver), nothing can be done to reverse it.”

According to him, five to 12 per cent of fatty liver disease usually progresses to NASH, leading to enlargement of the blood vessel.

On the prevalence of the disease in the country, Okorafor noted that there was no accurate data or statistics on NASH in the country.

He added that “statistics show that 20 per cent of the world populations have NASH, but we don’t know the prevalence in the country because there is no information on it.

“Having such data or statistics will go a long way to help in implementing measures to tackle it.”