Love Your Liver Month is celebrated for the whole month of January 2022 in the UK. The British Liver Trust highlights the need to show your liver some love in January, especially after the festive period, and how to take steps towards better liver health.

Why should you love your liver?

Your liver is one of the largest and most important organs in your body, performing over 300 different functions, while also helping some of your other organs do their jobs in order to keep you alive. In the UK liver disease is on the rise, with the three major preventable causes being alcohol consumption, obesity, and viral hepatitis.

When your liver is damaged it can repair itself but only up to a point. Often people with liver disease do not have any symptoms, but if the disease progresses it can be too late for treatment.

What are the latest statistics about liver disease?

An updated report on 2 November 2021 by gov.uk shows that during 2020 there was a noticeable increase in the rate of premature deaths due to liver disease compared to 2019. In 2020, there were 10,127 premature deaths due to liver disease in England, a rate of 20.6 per 100,000 population aged under 75. This is compared with 9,218 deaths and a rate of 18.9 per 100,000 population aged under 75 in 2019.

How do statistics compare in different regions?

In 2020, Blackpool’s local authority had the highest premature death rates for liver disease (44.9 per 100,000 population aged under 75) in the country. The lowest rate in 2020 was South Norfolk (7.4 per 100,000 population aged under 75).

Areas experiencing greater levels of deprivation have much higher rates of premature death from liver disease. Those in the most deprived areas have a rate that is almost 4 times higher (41.0 per 100,000 people aged over 75) than the least deprived areas (10.5 per 100,000 people aged over 75). The trend shows that the gap between the least and most deprived groups is not, unfortunately, narrowing.

What steps can you take to protect your liver?

  1. Cut down on alcohol. Drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. Take 3 days off alcohol every week to give your liver a chance to repair itself.
  2. Keep to a healthy weight. A healthy liver should contain little or no fat, so eat a healthy balanced diet and be physically active
  3. Protect yourself from viral hepatitis. Get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B as well as testing regularly for all STIs and HIV. Never share personal items like toothbrushes, razors, nail scissors or tweezers. Practise safe sex and use only licensed tattoo and piercing parlours. Always use clean needles and syringes.

Why is it important to regularly get tested?

Pamela Healy, CEO of the British Liver Trust said, “one in three of us are at risk of getting liver disease.  It is a silent killer and people often do not realise they have a problem until it is too late”.

Better2Know offers a Liver Function Test along with STI and HIV comprehensive screens and tests, which include tests for Hepatitis A, B and C.  Early diagnosis, regular testing and treatment is crucial to avoiding future health issues.

How can you check your health?

Better2Know can help you in taking care of your sexual and general health. If you are concerned about any aspect of your health, then speak with one of our well-trained personal advisors privately today by phone or live chat.

Our team is here to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week to obtain peace of mind about your health especially after the festive period. We can arrange confidential testing at a clinic near you, with a private nurse visit, or you can order a convenient home test kit.

Sources

[1] Britishlivertrust.org.uk: Love your liver awareness month

[2] www.gov.uk: Liver disease profiles: November 2021 update




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