January was Love Your Liver Awareness Month, dedicated to promoting promoting good liver health and raising awareness on the steps we can all take to reduce our risk of liver disease.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness and/or took steps to improve their liver health in January 2022.
Highlights from the month
- We held a Parliamentary Liver Health Awareness Day, where we were joined by over 80 MPs, Peers and Parliamentary staff, including the Health Minister, Andrew Stephenson MP and the opposition Health Minister, Preet Kaur Gill MP. They were given an opportunity to find out more about the importance of early detection of liver disease and how they could help us tackle the liver disease crisis in the UK.
- We shared firsthand stories from people with experience of living with liver disease including:
- Emma who didn’t consider herself an alcoholic, but when she suddenly became unwell found out that she needed a liver transplant.
- Kay who managed to reverse her fatty liver diagnosis by adopting a healthier diet in just 10 months.
- Simon who’s habitual drinking increased significantly during a difficult period in his life, resulting in him needing a liver transplant.
- More than 6,700 people took our online confidential screener in January to find out if they were at risk of liver disease. The screener not only helps highlight the risk factors but also provides people with information to help them improve their liver health if at risk.
- Over 150 people, including those who took the screener, committed to love their liver, by completing a fitness challenge; ditching alcohol; reducing sugar and takeaways and eating 5 a day. Taking a pledge is something we encourage people to take all year round.
- Our media outreach was extremely successful, with dozens of articles being published in national and local newspapers as well as securing several radio mentions.
- Our online merchandise page launched, allowing supporters to get their hands on branded items.
Throughout January, we asked the everyone in the UK to Love Your Liver, because we know that a healthy liver means a healthier body overall. January may be over, but it’s never too late to love your liver.
Here are some practical tips to continue Loving Your Liver throughout the year:
- Reduce your alcohol intake
- Take a 3-day break from alcohol every week to give your liver a chance to repair itself and only drink with your evening meal.
- Choose a lower strength of drink or opt for the low or no alcohol version.
- You can track your drinks so you know where you started and can see the progress you’re making. It can help you cut down too. Visit Alcohol Change to download a free drinks tracker.
- Set yourself a fixed budget for alcohol. You might be surprised how much you can save by limiting your alcohol.
For more tips on how to cut down on alcohol, download our factsheet.
- Eat healthier by choosing food options with less sugar and saturated fats
- Writing a shopping list can help you resist the urge to buy unhealthy foods and drinks.
- Eat your 5 a day by using frozen, tinned and dried fruit and vegetables. They’re just as good as buying fresh fruit and veg and are usually cheaper and are easier to store.
- Swap some or all the meat in your meals for beans, lentils or extra veg. You might end up saving money too!
- Serve yourself a portion of your favourite snacks so that you don’t get carried away and end up eating the whole pack.
- Increase your exercise levels
- Walking more is one the best ways to get active – and it’s free.
- Try walking or cycling for trips to your local shops instead of using the car or public transport.
- Get your friends and family involved in home workouts. There are plenty of free videos online for all activity levels.
- You could park your car further away from your destination or if you use public transport, you could get off a stop or two earlier and walk the remaining distance.
- Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis
To reduce your chance of contracting hepatitis B and hepatitis C:
- Never share needles, syringes, or other drug equipment with someone else.
- Use a condom or dam during sex.
- Never share razors, nail scissors or a toothbrush and cover wounds, especially when playing sports.
- If you need medical treatment abroad make sure only sterile equipment is used.