Health chiefs at NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are supporting a campaign by the British Liver Trust to raise local residents’ awareness of the three steps to a healthy liver.
Following Christmas and New Year, a time of year when many people typically over indulge on food and alcohol, the Love Your Liver campaign aims to reduce the number of people affected by liver disease by making the public aware of the risks from alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis.
As part of the campaign, which runs throughout January, an app has been developed along with an online health test to help the public reduce their alcohol intake and assess risk factors specific to them.
Between the years 2001 and 2012, figures show that the number of people who died with an underlying cause of liver disease in England increased by 40% from 7,841 to 10,948. Liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK and the fastest-growing, but because the symptoms develop quietly it means that it can advance to a late stage before being diagnosed.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“Love Your Liver is a great campaign to support as it raises awareness and gives people a better understanding of the three main risk factors in liver disease. The main concern with liver disease is that symptoms often develop silently, making diagnosis difficult, but the good news is that liver disease is preventable.
“Good liver health can be maintained by cutting out alcohol for two or three days in a row in a week and keeping below recommended levels of intake, eating a healthy diet and taking more exercise. Reducing the risk of infection through viral hepatitis can be achieved by practicing safe sex, maintaining good hygiene and getting the right vaccinations when travelling to certain parts of the world. For more information visit http://loveyourliver.org.uk.”
The ‘Spruce’ app, which has been developed by the British Liver Trust to support the campaign, exists to encourage people to drink less frequently by supporting them to take three days off alcohol a week and drink sensibly when they do. The app is available from the iOS app store.
The ‘love your liver health screener’ assessment tool helps people to understand how healthy their liver is. The tool works by asking a number of questions relating to a person’s health and assesses potential risk factors relating to liver disease. This enables the tool to then advise whether they might be at risk of liver damage or not. The campaign also includes a national roadshow across the country offering free liver health assessments to the public.
For more information, visit: http://loveyourliver.org.uk