COVID-19 and Liver Disease: What you should know?

Patients with underlying liver disorders fare badly with Covid-19 as compared to healthy people. As a result, every effort must be taken to maintain the liver's health. Read on to view the full details...

Gaurav Gupta Created on 27th Oct, 21

Our healthcare system is facing significant issues as a result of Covid-19's rapid spread. The majority of deaths occur as a result of respiratory failure caused by substantial lung injury. 

We also learned that the virus could harm the food pipe, liver, stomach, pancreas, intestine, and other digestive system areas. A renowned liver specialist in Mumbai provides facts about the liver and how a Covid-19 infection might affect it.


How does the Covid-19 virus affect the liver?

By attaching to the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE-2) receptor, the virus infects human cells. These receptors are also found in the colon, bile duct, and liver cells, making these organs vulnerable to virus harm.


In Covid-19, what are the liver and gastrointestinal symptoms?

Diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain have been observed in up to 15% of Covid-19 infection patients, in addition to respiratory problems. According to a leading liver transplant surgeon in Mumbai, patients who report gastrointestinal symptoms have been observed to have a more extended hospital stay and a more severe course of illness than those who do not. 


As per current data, 19% of Covid-19 patients have elevated levels of liver enzymes during the course of the disease. However, liver damage is usually minor and transitory in most people, but significant liver damage has been seen.


What is the treatment for Covid-19 infection in patients with pre-existing liver disease?

Hepatitis B & C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol misuse, and autoimmunity are prominent causes of chronic liver disease. These patients' immune systems are weakened, so they must be extremely cautious because the virus poses a greater danger of severe illness. 


In patients with pre-existing chronic liver disease, the virus can cause liver injury, which can lead to acute or chronic liver failure: the more serious the Covid infection, the more severe the liver damage. Most drugs used to treat Covid-19 have a tendency to harm the liver, necessitating regular monitoring and dosage adjustments as needed.


In case of liver failure, contact a liver specialist who provides one of the best liver transplant in Mumbai


What effects does Covid-19 have on patients who have had a liver transplant? Is it safe to perform a liver transplant at this time?

There have been doubts that organ transplant recipients on drugs that lower body immunity may be more susceptible to Covid-19 infection or have a more severe condition. Most of these drugs have now been proven to be safe and may help prevent severe Covid symptoms by preventing the cytokine storm. 


In organ transplant recipients, the outcome of Covid-19 infection is the same as in the general population. It is no surprise that, despite early reservations, transplant activity has restarted in Mumbai for those who need it most.  It is excellent for patients undergoing liver cancer treatment in Mumbai.


Should patients with chronic liver disease and those who have had a liver transplant get the Covid-19 virus vaccine?

The vaccination's safety in this group has now been confirmed. All of these people who are eligible must get the immunization as soon as possible. They should not pick and choose their vaccines or wait for the right one. The vaccine's efficacy in immunosuppression patients is thought to be slightly lower than in the general population, but there are no additional complications.


What precautions should individuals with liver conditions take to avoid infection with Covid-19 and bad outcomes?

Patients with underlying liver disorders fare badly with Covid-19 as compared to healthy people. As a result, every effort must be taken to maintain the liver's health. The fatty liver disease presents an unfavourable environment for the virus to thrive. 


For the benefit of the liver, avoid eating sweets, fatty foods, and fast food. Also, exercise regularly for 30 minutes five days a week. It would be best if you avoid excessive alcohol consumption at all costs. Patients with chronic hepatitis or autoimmunity must take their medications on a regular basis. 


The availability of vaccines has given hope that we can bring the pandemic under control soon. However, social distancing and following covid protocol will continue to be necessary.


For any liver-related issues, you can contact Dr. Gaurav Gupta, a renowned liver transplant surgeon in Mumbai.



Relevant Questions

Q. My brother is hospitalized in Nair hospital since last 15days because of alcoholic liver infection, not getting improvement .. So i want to consult with you.

If a patient has alcohol-related liver injury generally treatment depends upon the degree of liver injury. some of the patients will recover after alcohol-related liver injury but in case of severe alcoholic hepatitis, liver transplant may be needed. 

If you want to know more, you can refer the article on Alcohol Liver Disease.

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Q. What can potentially cause damage liver?

The 3 main causes of liver damage are: Obesity, undiagnosed hepatitis infection and alcohol misuse. There are some other factors that lead to liver damage. That is,

  • Too Much Vitamin A From Supplements
  • Excess intake of Soft Drinks
  • Too much sugar
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Q. My wife has issue with abdomen pain & according to Dr the lever is fatty We have done USG of upper & lower abdomen & it shows bit enlargement of lever What shall we do next

If on USG liver is fatty, the Patient should undergo some more blood tests to find the cause and degree of fatty liver. We should also check whether this fatty liver is causing hepatitis or not. Treatment will depend upon finding of these tests. I will suggest you to consult a liver specialist and then further treatment can be started.

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Q. Hello, I'm a 49-year-old male whose platelet count has dropped to 27000 in the last several months. Gastroenterologists use sonography and endoscopy to detect compensated liver cirrhosis. I'm curious about the long-term effects and what kind of diet I should follow. Thanks

If your doctor has told you that you have compensated cirrhosis, this means you are in the early stages of the disease. The cause of cirrhosis in such patients must be thoroughly investigated. These individuals must also be monitored by liver experts on a frequent basis in order to diagnose and treat issues when they emerge. These individuals must also adhere to a rigorous liver-related diet. Diets are usually changed and tailored to the specific needs of each patient. I hope this answers your question, and please contact me if you have any other questions!

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Q. I have fever and is also experiencing fatigue. i got my blood tests done and the reports showed raised LFTs, but everything else is fine. there is no cough or shortness of breath, is this something to worry about? What is the cause?

Raised LFT can be due to various reasons. Different values in LFT signify different problems. Plus clinical examination will be helpful. You should see a doctor consultation along with a detailed check-up.

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