11 January 2017
You’ve probably given your body a hard time over the Christmas break but January is the month to Love Your Liver.
With campaigns such as Dry January it's time to talk about the first step you can take towards a healthier liver and re-think your alcohol consumption. We spoken with Dr Anne McCune, British Liver Trust Clinical advisor and Consultant Hepatologist here at Spire Bristol Hospital.
“Taking part in campaigns such as ‘Dry January’ are a great way to start but I always urge people to use that as a stepping stone towards a healthier attitude to alcohol throughout the year,” said Dr McCune.
“The liver really is a remarkable organ with a fantastic capacity for rejuvenation - but people still manage to ‘take it beyond the limit’ when it comes to alcohol intake!
“In some circumstances, particularly in individuals who may be overweight or diabetic, the threshold for serious damage from alcohol is surprisingly low (as low as two bottles of wine per week) and continued harmful drinking can lead to liver damage that is beyond repair.”
But because it is such a ‘forgiving’ organ people do tend to take it for granted, Dr McCune explained.
“Two or three days a week abstinence is an achievable target that can really benefit liver health, as can keeping a record of the number of drinks you have throughout the week,” she said.
Healthy diet is also another step you can take to keeping your liver in shape as more and more evidence is points to a link between liver health, diet and the blend of bacteria living inside your bowel .
If anyone is concerned about the state of their liver there are lots of simple ways that you can check to see whether there is any evidence of damage, including a FibroScan test as recommended by NICE and special blood work. It’s better to seek help rather than ignore changes that, in the early stages, are often completely reversible.
“Hopefully the Love Your Liver campaign will give people the springboard they need to make changes to their lifestyle but I hope they stick with at least some of those changes for much more than a month,” said Dr McCune.
For more information or to book an appointment then please contact our Patient Treatment Advisers on 0117 980 4080 or use the enquiry form located in the pink box on this website