The British Liver Trust has united with Portsmouth City Council and the University of Southampton to bring their Love Your Liver unit to Commercial Road in Portsmouth on Friday 10th June, to raise awareness and find those at risk of liver disease.
It is estimated that one in five adults in Portsmouth may be walking around with liver disease and be completely unaware because there are usually no symptoms in the early stages.
Portsmouth has a significant liver disease crisis with one of the highest rates of liver disease related hospital admissions in the South East.
90% of liver disease is preventable and if caught at an early stage, liver damage can often be reversed. However, the alarming reality is that three-quarters of people diagnosed with cirrhosis are found when it is too late for effective intervention or treatment and one in four people diagnosed late in hospital sadly die within a couple of months.
Pamela Healy, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust, said, “One in five of us are at risk of liver disease and the numbers of people being diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate during the pandemic.
“Liver damage develops silently with no signs or symptoms and people often don’t realise they have a problem until it is too late. Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left until symptoms appear, the damage is often irreversible.”
Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Portsmouth City Council, said: "Liver disease can be fuelled by unhealthy lifestyles, including harmful drug and alcohol use. Having the roadshow visit Commercial Road provides a valuable opportunity for Portsmouth residents to find out their risk of liver disease and get expert advice - which could save their lives."
The work has been supported and funded by the University of Southampton. A spokesperson at the University of Southampton said: “The Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Southampton is pleased to fund and support this work, as part of their Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise programme. Early identification of liver disease is key to reducing harm. We hope that bringing opportunities to detect liver disease out to community settings will make it easier for people to attend. We would encourage all those who think they might be at risk of liver disease to come along on 10th June and talk to the British Liver Trust team.”
Pamela Healy at the British Liver Trust continues: “The Love Your Liver roadshow is a great opportunity for people to find out their risk of liver disease and the first one hundred people to attend will receive a free non-invasive scan. Approximately 20% of the people we scan need to have further checks.”
The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps to Love Your Liver back to health:
- Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week
- Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat, and take more exercise
- Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk
The roadshow comprises a mobile unit where people can take a free online screening test and find out if they are at risk. Free liver health scanning will also be available using a non-invasive device. There will be expert guidance on how to keep your liver healthy from healthcare professionals who will be on hand to provide advice on diet, exercise and healthy living.
Anyone wishing to take advantage of this free events should attend between 9am and 4pm. If you wish to be scanned please arrive early as places are limited. If you can’t attend the event you can still find out if you are at risk and check your liver health online by doing the online screening test at https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/screener