As we embark on a new year, January always seems to have a focus on health. Most of us are full of good intentions. This year, more than ever, people are conscious about their health and how keeping healthy through diet and exercise can play a huge part in fighting off viruses and diseases.
This January it is Love your Liver month a national campaign led by the British Liver Trust Organisation, focusing on how we should all look after our livers in order to be healthier.
Did you know that the liver is our largest solid organ in our body? It is also vital for our overall health. Look after your liver and it will look after you! Currently one in three of us are at risk at getting liver disease, when it is in fact pretty simple to prevent with lifestyle changes.
Our livers have a lot of jobs to do to help keep our bodies healthy. One of these jobs is processing the alcohol we drink. The more we drink the harder it is for our liver to process it quick enough, which in turn means damaged cells. So, the obvious advice here is to keep your alcohol intake to the recommended in take (no more than 14 units per week) and try to have three days off drinking any alcohol each week, to give your liver time to repair itself.
Our livers also process most of the nutrients and fats from the foods we eat. If we’re overweight we can increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which can cause lasting liver damage. Simple steps we can take include eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water plus taking at least 30 minutes of exercise each day if you can.
The British Liver Trust has put a simple screening questionnaire on its website for you to see if you’re putting your liver at risk. Nine out of ten liver diseases are preventable, but it’s often detected too late for intervention to make a difference – so we need to be mindful of our livers at all times. Treat them right!
At Covance Leeds we have a trial looking at treatments for liver disease coming up soon. We will be looking for healthy volunteers to get involved. It may be that you’ve had a family member or friend who has suffered from liver disease and you’d like to help future patients. Check out forthcoming trials on our website for more information or get in touch to register your interest and apply to become a volunteer with Covance.