Love your Liver is a national campaign run by the British Liver Trust.
Its message is simple – three steps to a healthy liver.
Step 1: Watch your Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol intake can seriously affect your liver function. Given that your liver performs over 500 vital functions each day, its a good idea to keep it in pristine condition!
Just having 3 ‘dry’ days a week can make a big difference to your liver health. Also, try to drink in moderation – the recommended daily limit is 2/3 units for women and 3/4 for men – as this will cause less damage to your liver.
Step 2: Avoid Fatty Liver!
The liver processes the nutrients and fats in your diet – if you are overweight, then you increase your risk of developing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which is a build up of fat within your liver cells. Although most people that develop it are relatively asymptomatic, it does increase your risk of developing inflammation, scarring, or at worst cirrhosis of the liver, which can be extremely dangerous and can lead to permanent damage.
Eating a balanced, healthy diet and taking regular exercise is the best way to avoid fatty build up in your liver.
Step 3: Avoiding Viral Hepatitis
Blood borne viruses, such as Hepatitis B & C, can damage your liver and increase your risk of liver cancer.
You can avoid the risk of contracting these viruses by:
- getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B when travellling abroad (there is no vaccine for hepatitis C or E)
- never sharing personal items like toothbrushes, razors, nail scissors or tweezers
- practising safer sex
- using only licensed tattoo and piercing parlours and making sure all equipment used has been sterilised
- always using clean needles, syringes and other equipment if using drugs
The Love your Liver website has lots more information, including a Health Screener, informatino on their Spruce app that helps people reduce their alcohol intake, and more ways of getting involved such as making a donation, or holding a ‘Love your Liver’ event. A Launch for the ‘Love your Liver’ campaign is being held on 28 January 2015 at the House of Commons.