DOCTOR CALLING: A weekly column by Dr Kevin Hill, chairman of South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, addressing topical health issues
How healthy is your liver? There are three ways to a healthy liver and South Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (SL CCG) is supporting a campaign by the British Liver Trust to raise local residents’ awareness of these steps.
The Love Your Liver campaign is focused around making the public aware of the risks from alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis in order to help reduce the number of people affected by liver disease.
As part of the campaign an app has been developed to help you reduce your alcohol intake, along with an online health test to assess your risk factors.
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 it can be diagnosed at a late stage.
Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire 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.
“It’s particularly important at this time of year after the indulgence of the Christmas period.
“The main concern is that the symptoms of liver disease often develop silently, so it is important to reduce your alcohol intake and lead a healthy lifestyle.
“Liver disease is preventable and by cutting out alcohol for two or three days in a row in a week, eating a healthy diet and taking more exercise you help maintain good liver health.”
If anyone is concerned that they may have contracted viral hepatitis, you should book an appointment with your GP and get tested.”
The Spruce app, which has been developed to support the campaign, can be downloaded to encourage people to take three days off alcohol a week and drink sensibly when they do. The free app can be downloaded at http://loveyourliver.org.uk/spruce/
You can also take an online test to find out how healthy your liver is here.
The Love Your Liver Health Screener asks you a number of questions relating to your health to assess your risk factors and advise if you might be at risk of liver damage.
The campaign also includes a national roadshow across the country offering free liver health assessments to the public.
For more information, please visit: http://loveyourliver.org.uk