Most people with fatal advanced liver disease become aware of the problem only when are are admitted as an emergency, revealed a news study.
In the UK, more than 60,000 adults have cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, however, nearly 75 percent do not know it, the research published in the Lancet revealed. Deaths from liver disease have increased by 400 percent since the 1970s, but most cases are easily preventable with the major risk factors such as alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis accounting for up to 90 percent of cases.
Professor Nick Sheron, a liver expert from the University of Southampton involved in the research, said: “Liver disease develops silently with no signs or symptoms and is the second leading cause of years or working life lost. If current trends continue it will become the leading cause of premature mortality in the UK. Yet, most people with fatal advanced liver disease only become aware that they have a liver problem when they are admitted as an emergency. We MUST diagnose these people much earlier.”
The week starting June 18 is National Love Your Liver Awareness week, and the British Liver Trust has launched a new version of an online screening tool (https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/our-work/love-your-liver/love-liver-health-screener/) so that people can find out if they are at risk.
The campaign hopes to reach the one in five people in the UK who may have the early stages of liver disease, but are unaware of it.
Judi Rhys, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust said, “Helping people understand how to reduce their risk of liver damage is vital to address the increase in deaths from liver disease. Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left too late damage is often irreversible. I would urge everyone to take our online screener on our website to see if they are at risk.”
To love your liver back to health it is important to drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive alcohol-free days every week; Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat and exercise more; Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk.