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Charity Warns Against Liver Damage And Calls For Early Screenings For Those At Risk

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LIVER DAMAGE
A charity has warned against liver damage | Alamy

A quick fix in January is not enough to repair the liver and keep it healthy, experts warned on Tuesday.

The British Liver Trust called on the Government to make early liver screening available to everyone at risk in a bid to save one million lives a year.

Liver disease, now the fifth biggest killer in the UK, has increased in the past year as British culture continues to embrace the daily consumption of alcohol and unhealthy food choices, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, the trust said.

With no early warning signs, and tolerance levels varying genetically, liver testing is critical to identify early signs of damage so people can make lifestyle changes to save their lives.

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The charity made its plea as it launched its second Love Your Liver Roadshow awareness campaign, to be led by a nationwide roadshow of 'pop-up' liver health clinics, sponsored by Eisberg alcohol-free wine.

The trust's chief executive, Andrew Langford, said: "Last year the Love Your Liver Roadshow found that one in four people tested were showing the early signs of liver disease. Caught at this early stage, lifestyle changes allow the liver to repair itself.

"Having an alcoholic drink every night, over-indulging in rich food too frequently and not making time for regular exercise are major contributing factors for liver disease.

"As everyone is affected differently, and symptoms are almost unrecognisable until the damage is beyond repair, the Government needs to take action to help people understand the damage they are doing.

"It's not about a quick fix in January, to repair the liver and keep it healthy, people need to follow our three-step plan all-year round: 1) Take two to three days off alcohol every week; 2) get regular exercise; 3) cut down on sugar and fat.

"Our Love Your Liver campaign offers free screenings to the public at a series of pop-up liver health clinics, offering free FibroScan tests which help identify the early warning signs and practical advice about how to love your liver.

"However, we can only reach a very small group of people and we're appealing for the Government to do more."

Some 28% of those tested last year were showing early signs of liver damage. If left undetected however, these early signs could lead to permanent liver damage.

The campaign can be followed via www.loveyourliver.org.uk, www.facebook.com/britishlivertrust and Twitter @livertrust

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