9 in 10 liver disease cases can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes and as part of our national Love Your Liver campaign, we offer a free online screener, arrange national roadshows and work with healthcare professionals.
The liver is your largest internal organ. As well as hundreds of other jobs, it processes the alcohol you drink. If you drink over the recommended daily guidelines (see below), your liver will be unable to process the alcohol you consume quickly enough, which damages the cells in your liver. Love Your Liver by:
- drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week
- taking 3 days off alcohol every week to give your liver a chance to repair itself
- avoiding alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to conceive
Your liver processes most of the nutrients and fats in the food you eat. If you are overweight you increase your risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease which over time can cause lasting liver damage. Help your liver to work properly by:
- eating a healthy balanced diet and drinking plenty of water
- eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, reducing portion sizes and cutting down on your fat and sugar intake
- taking some regular exercise – aim for a total of 30 minutes a day if you can
Diet and exercise have the best effect on your liver health – making long term changes that you can keep up is better than losing weight quickly.
Blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C can cause permanent liver damage and increase the risk of liver cancer. Hepatitis A and E are spread by faecal-oral transmission (usually through contaminated food or water). Avoid these viruses by:
- getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B when travellling abroad (there is no vaccine for hepatitis C or E)
- never sharing personal items like toothbrushes, razors, nail scissors or tweezers
- practising safer sex
- using only licensed tattoo and piercing parlours and making sure all equipment used has been sterilised
- always using clean needles, syringes and other equipment if using drugs