Aberdeen residents are being urged by the British Liver Trust to ‘get on board’ the Love Your Liver mobile screening unit to help prevent them joining the growing number of liver disease cases in Scotland. Most liver disease is preventable and the charity will be at St Nicholas Street on Saturday 21st April providing free liver checks. The latest data from Public Health Scotland shows that 73 people died of liver disease last year from the Aberdeen region and the British Liver Trust estimates that over 90% of these deaths could have been prevented.
This comes after recent research reveals that as many as one in eight people over the age of forty in Britain are unaware that they suffer from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the more serious form of fatty liver disease which is potentially life-threatening.
The four-day Love Your Liver roadshow in Scotland, supported by a grant from National Lottery Scotland, aims to reach the one in five people in the country who may have the early stages of liver disease.
Judi Rhys, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust said, “Liver disease affects millions of people in the UK – and the numbers diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate. It is a silent killer and people often don’t realise they have a problem until it is too late. Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left until there are signs the damage is often irreversible. I would urge everyone to take the online screener on our website to see if they are at risk and if you are in the area please pop down to our mobile screening unit. Thank you so much the players of the national lottery who have made this event possible.”
Dr Shirley English, Associate Specialist Gastroenterology at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary said, “Rates of liver disease in Scotland are increasing with as many as 30% of the population deemed to be at risk. The main contributors to this are alcohol consumption, obesity and viral hepatitis. These risks can all be tackled. Not every case will progress but unfortunately liver disease can be asymptomatic until an advanced stage is reached. Advanced liver disease puts an individual at increased risk of cancer or liver failure.
“We are delighted to be supporting the British Liver Trust with this event. It is an excellent opportunity to look at your liver health, to have a think about your risk factors for disease and also get an indication of the risk of liver damage. A few moments of your time will allow us to assess your risk, advise how to reduce this and signpost you for support if required. It will be time well spent.”
Liver disease is largely preventable. More than 90% is due to three main risk factors: obesity, alcohol and viral hepatitis. 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.
The Trust provides support and detailed information for anyone with, or affected by a liver condition. For more information, details of all the screening events visit: www.britishlivertrust.org.uk//love-your-liver
The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver mobile screening unit will be at St Nicholas Street, Aberdeen AB10 1BF (outside M&S and next to the St Nicholas Shopping Centre), on Saturday 21st April. Anyone wishing to take advantage of this free event should attend between 10am and 4pm. If you wish to be scanned please arrive early as places are limited. If you would like to check your liver health online please visit the British Liver Trust’s screening tool: www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/screener
British Liver Trust is grateful to the National Lottery players for helping to fund a four day Love Your Liver roadshow in Scotland. Scotland has the highest levels of liver disease in western Europe – yet over 90% of liver disease is preventable. The British Liver Trust Love Your Liver campaign promotes good liver health and offers practical advice around the main risk factors of preventable liver disease. A significant grant from the National Lottery of £10,000 has enabled the charity to hold the first four day Love Your Liver roadshow in Scotland. Our Mobile Scanning Unit will visit Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee, offering people the chance to take our health screener and have a free liver scan, in April 2018.