January is Love Your Liver Awareness Month
January is often a time that people take stock after the Christmas period but this year it is even more important as the numbers at risk have also increased during the Covid pandemic. Many people have increased their alcohol consumption and gained weight during lockdown – the two biggest risk factors for developing liver disease.
Why you should love your liver
The liver is a fascinating organ, and its importance is often underrated. It’s an amazing multi-tasker and has over 500 vital jobs to do to keep you alive. It’s just as important as other organs like your heart and lungs, but they tend to steal most of the limelight.
Some of its tasks include:
Fighting infection and disease
Destroying poisons and drugs (including alcohol)
Cleaning the blood
Controlling the amount of cholesterol
It works hard and can take a lot of abuse, but it’s like an elastic band – it can only stretch so far before it breaks.
In the UK, liver disease is on the rise. The three major preventable causes are drinking alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis.
When it’s damaged, the liver can repair itself, but only up to a point. Sadly, people with liver disease often don’t have any symptoms until the disease has progressed and it’s far too late for treatment. That’s why it’s so important to know the risk factors and to keep your liver happy and healthy for life – before long-lasting damage can occur.
This January let’s show our livers some love by doing something healthy.
What can I do to help:
Pledge to take on a fitness challenge – increase your Activity in January by taking on a challenge of your choice
Pledge to give up alcohol for January – a long break from alcohol can give our livers a rest and help you to provide a healthier drinking habit long term
Pledge to stick to 5 a day. Around a 1/3 of what we eat should be fruit and vegetables. Eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day provides us with essential vitamins and minerals that keeps our livers healthy and reduces the risk of lover disease.
Pledge to reduce sugar – the World Health Organisation says that we should try and keep our sugar intake down to about 6 teaspoons per day. Eating too much sugar causes obesity and this is a factor to liver disease.
Pledge to ditch processed food and takeaways.
So, lets help ourselves to help our livers and Take the Pledge