Countless revellers will have given their livers a pounding over the festive period by drinking more than they normally would.
But the good news is that it is possible to knock our livers back into shape quickly by taking three simple steps:
Keep off alcohol for two or three days in a row
Take more exercise and stay fit
Cut down on sugar and fat.
The advice was given this week by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 people. The CCG is backing Love Your Liver Month, a campaign run each January by the British Liver Trust to encourage people to get their liver back into tip-top condition after Christmas.
Not drinking for two to three days’ running gives the liver time to recover. Providing the liver has no lasting damage, it can take as little as 24 hours to go back to normal.
Eating well and exercising regularly will prevent people getting overweight and developing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Cutting down on daily food indulgences and not overloading on sugary drinks will help optimise liver function.
The campaign urges people feeling constantly tired to visit their GP and request a liver function test, especially if they have been pushing the boundaries regularly with alcohol or fatty foods.
As jaundice can indicate liver damage, anyone noticing yellowing of their eyes or skin should visit their GP straightaway.
People planning to travel abroad should visit their GP or local travel clinic to check if they need vaccinations to protect themselves against Hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis A, B and C can be picked up by having unprotected sex or at tattoo parlours where hygiene is not up to standard.
Anyone who has had a blood transfusion before 1991 may have been given blood that was not screened for viral hepatitis. People falling into this category may be at risk and should visit their GP for a blood test.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“One of our main priorities is to stop people falling ill as prevention is better than cure for both patients and the NHS. That’s why we’re backing Love Your Liver Month.
“The liver is a durable organ that can repair itself very quickly if people follow the advice of the British Liver Trust.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111