Residents in Ealing are being urged to take an interest in their liver this year and show it some love.
Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of Ealing residents being admitted to hospital with liver disease.
In 2010/11 it was 385 people but by 2020/21 that number rose to 440 and has been over 400 on average since 2016.
A campaign by the British Liver Trust this month has been raising awareness of liver disease and how 90% of it is avoidable if action is taken before it’s too late.
The liver carries out over 200 functions, including breaking down food to convert it into energy, fighting infections and removing toxins and can repair itself up to a point, if left until symptoms appear, liver damage is often irreversible.
According to the charity, there are usually no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
Pamela Healy, chief executive at the British Liver Trust, said: “January is Love Your Liver awareness month – when we put a spotlight on the steps people can take to improve their liver health. Ninety per cent of liver disease is avoidable and sadly, the numbers of people being diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate, with 7,670 being admitted to hospital with liver disease in London in 20/21. They often don’t realise they have a problem until it is too late.”
The British Liver Trust is encouraging people to take three steps to get their liver back to health.
1. Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week
2. Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat, and take more exercise
3. Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk
Ms Healy added: “There are steps we can all take to improve our liver health, by eating a healthy balanced diet, being more active and moderating our alcohol intake. A common myth is that you have to be an alcoholic to damage your liver. The truth is that one in five people in the UK drink alcohol in a way that could harm their liver.”
To find out more and take a pledge to Love Your Liver, click here.