Educating audiences on staying healthy, the latest episode of “Medcast Plus,” a television features program aimed at informing Brooklynites about various health issues, with doctors as featured guests, tackles the complex issue of fatty liver disease.
Dr. Patrick Basu, a transplant and gastroenterologist hepatologist, discussed the disease and its causes, and was blunt about how the epidemic has developed.
“It’s not understood well or diagnosed for the last 20 years and it’s a global problem,” he said, noting that it’s not just alcohol that can cause significant liver failure. “What happens with this disease, is we are getting fatter and fatter. The global index of obesity has bumped. Americans have it, but even China, parts of Africa and poor countries, India have it. Over time, we realize that we are getting lazier and lazier, and now our exercising has practically diminished because of our intellect, smart phone, smart TV, etc. We don’t have to move.”
Taxing careers also play a role. “Life has become much more stressful and demanding,” Basu said. “Nobody really works about eight hours. They work 12 hours. Everyone can afford a car; even in India, average people can afford a car. Walking or taking trains and buses to commute or even going for groceries is all gone.”
Basu stated that currently 30 percent of people in the world are obese and by 2036, that number is projected to rise to 62 percent. Basu believes this is a major reason for fatty liver disease.
“Our livers get fatter and are deprived of oxygen because fat takes over. The liver activity is diminished because of the fat and liver cells die because of the huge amount of fat,” he said.
“The liver is the mother organ for so many things,” Basu added. “It makes hormones, peptides and other important things.”
Tips were given throughout the show for people to follow. “First of all, avoid obesity, exercise daily, go to a cardiologist to see if you have heart disease,” he said. “Get a trainer if you can or nutritionists. There are so many diets, so go on whatever suits you but be compliant.
Other tips from Basu — drink coffee, consume antioxidants and take vitamin e.
Host Helen Vays found the interview to be honest and enlightening. “He took it more to the level of understanding for any person watching the show and it was nice because you don’t meet those physicians commonly nowadays,” she explained. “He tries to find the root of the problem.”
Greg Romenski is the executive producer of “Medcast Plus.” The next episode will air on Thursday, April 13 on Channel 79 on Time Warner, 68 on Optimum, 83 on RCN, and 43 on Verizon Fios.