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Hospital encourages public to ‘love your liver’

15 January 2015

The start of a new year is the ideal time to set new goals and make a fresh start, particularly when it comes to your health. This January, West Middlesex University Hospital have been supporting the British Liver Trust’s national awareness campaign, Love Your Liver and encouraging the public to make a healthy start to 2015.

The start of a new year is the ideal time to set new goals and make a fresh start, particularly when it comes to your health. This January, West Middlesex University Hospital have been supporting the British Liver Trust’s national awareness campaign, Love Your Liver and encouraging the public to make a healthy start to 2015.

The Love Your Liver Month campaign encourages us all to look after our livers and maintain a healthier lifestyle in three simple ways:

  1. Alcohol – too much alcohol can cause serious and lasting liver damage. Drink within safe limits and try taking three days off alcohol every week.
  2. Fatty Liver – if you are overweight you increase your risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Eat a healthy balanced diet, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly (aim for a total of 30 minutes a day if possible). 
  3. Viral Hepatitis – blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, C and E can cause permanent liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer. Some ways by which you can avoid these viruses are getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B when travelling abroad, never sharing toothbrushes, razors, tweezers and other personal items and using only licensed tattoo and piercing parlours with sterilised equipment.

Dr Zul Mirza, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at West Middlesex has seen first-hand the damage alcohol can do and shares his advice on one of the main causes of liver disease: “You can still enjoy a drink but give your liver a break from alcohol for at least two to three days each week, and stick to the recommended limits when you do drink.”

“The liver is the largest organ in the body and has many essential functions to keep us healthy. The liver works hard and will work fully into old age but it can become permanently damaged if you continue to drink over the limit.”

The recommended alcohol limit for men is three to four units a day (equivalent to a pint and a half of four per cent beer) and no more than 21 units a week.

Women are advised to limit alcohol to two to three units a day (equivalent to a 175 ml glass of wine) and no more than 14 units a week.