Fatty Liver Disease, A Silent Epidemic, Puts Millions Of Filipinos At Risk

June 15, 2022

Fatty liver is affecting millions of Filipinos and is thus considered a silent epidemic.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s not forget that our objective should be to maintain overall health and wellness. That means taking care of not just our respiratory system but our other major organs as well, such as our liver.

Hepatology Society of the Philippines

Fatty Liver Disease, A Silent Epidemic, Puts Millions Of Filipinos At Risk 


In fact, according to the Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP), at least 18 million Filipinos are either suffering from or at risk of fatty liver disease, considered a silent epidemic.

This is one of the alarming pieces of information presented in the recent online press conference entitled "Fatty Liver Facts: What You Need to Know About This Silent Epidemic” organized by the HSP.

Fatty liver disease affects millions around the world. It has no symptoms at the early stages, which is why many people are unaware that they have it until it’s too late.

Dr. Allan Policarpio
Dr. Allan Policarpio

“Fatty liver disease is a little-known, potentially fatal condition affecting many people,” noted Dr. Allan Policarpio, President of the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology. “The public can learn about it by listening to experts.”

There are two types of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and its more advanced type, the nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The main characteristic of both is too much fat stored in liver cells. Having small amounts of fat in the liver is normal, but it becomes a problem if more than 5% to 10% percent of the liver’s weight is fat.

Dr. Edhel S. Tripon
Dr. Edhel Tripon

Dr. Edhel S. Tripon of HSP stated that fatty liver is the fastest rising cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis worldwide. "People who are overweight, diabetic, or hypertensive are prone to developing fatty liver.”

Dr. Diana Alcantara-Payawal
Dr. Diana Alcantara-Payawal

The Philippines has over 18 million obese and overweight people. They are all susceptible to NAFLD, noted Dr. Diana Alcantara-Payawal, President of the Philippine College of Physicians. “Some of them may already have fatty liver disease but are unaware of it,” she added.

Dr. Tripon stressed the importance of keeping the liver healthy. “The liver is a multitasking hard worker, so it is important to keep this organ as healthy as possible. A healthy liver is fundamental to wellness.”

Dr. Wendell Z. Espinosa
Dr. Wendell Espinosa

To lower the risk of developing fatty liver disease, HSP Vice President Dr. Wendell Z. Espinosa said “we need to raise awareness about how to avoid modifiable risk factors among adolescents and young adults. We need to increase the public's awareness about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which would likely lead to better prevention, early detection, and treatment of the disorder.”

The Hepatology Society of the Philippines is the lead organization in the study and care of liver health and disease among Filipinos. 

HSP provides research, education, and advocacy on liver health and liver-related diseases. Part of its mission is to share information, services, and expertise with the global community towards the prevention and treatment of liver diseases.

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17 comments

  1. Eek this is important to be aware of. I hope my liver is okay! I don't drink at least.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this very informative blog. Yes now adays we must be aware about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which would likely lead to better prevention, early detection, and treatment of the disorder is a must. This is the most important thing that we should know.

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  3. Thanks for sharing,very informative!

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  4. This is definitely something that is not discussed much, and it is good to have an awareness. I am glad to hear there is an initiative to educate people.

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  5. I hadn't realized it was such a prominent issue, thank you for your informative post!! Stay well!

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  6. This is such an important post, and something everyone should be aware of!

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  7. Must read po very informative lalo na yung mga mahilig uminom ng alak jan. Sabi nga ligtas ang may alam and health is wealth.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this po talagang we need to know Yung mga gantong information po. We must be aware of this kind of disease that can cause a big problem to us 🥰

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  9. I didn’t know about this. This is a really great and very informative post! Thanks for sharing this with us

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  10. My dad had a Fatty liver disease. There were no symptoms at first but Im just glad it did not cause any serious problems.

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  11. The good news is we can often prevent or even reverse fatty liver disease with lifestyle changes.

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  12. Both my mother and her sister have FLD and both their doctors said there was nothing they could do for them. Strang.

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  13. It is really worrying to hear so many have it. It's good you are helping to increase awareness.

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  14. Rose Ann Sales17 June 2022 at 10:13

    This is a really informative post to share to all of us. Thanks for sharing awareness to all of us

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  15. One of my friends was diagnosed with NASH. She ended up going on the Mediterranean diet and lost a lot of weight and reversed the disease.

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  16. Health check ups are so important! I a glad we have the science and technology now a days to identify this.

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  17. wow! After reading this post I understand how important is to take cake of my liver's health!

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