The three key areas where you can Love Your Liver and help it function at its best are:
Your liver performs over 500 vital functions for your body. Too much alcohol can cause it serious and lasting damage. Love Your Liver by:
- drinking within safe limits (2 to 3 units per day for women and 3 to 4 units per day for men)
- 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
Help yourself by signing up for our Spruce App which encourages you to take three days off alcohol each week and don’t save up your ‘allowance’ and drink it all at once!
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
Help yourself by swapping snacks for a healthier alternative like mixed nuts or fruit, finding an exercise that you enjoy as this will help you to keep motivated (eg walking, cycling, swimming, dancing).
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
If you feel you may have been at risk of contracting viral hepatitis at any time then visit your GP and get tested. If you had a blood transfusion before 1991 for any reason then the blood may not have been screened for viral hepatitis – visit your GP for a blood test.