Care for your liver 12 months a year

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A FYLDE coast medical expert is warning a January detox from alcohol will not save people’s livers.

Dr Chris Shorrock, a leading consultant in gastroenterology at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, says quitting booze for a month will make very little difference in the long term.

Many people across the Fylde coast will have made New Year’s resolutions not to drink alcohol in January, in a bid to get healthy after partying throughout the festive season.

But Dr Shorrock is urging people to look after their liver all year round, not just for 31 days.

He says cutting alcohol intake overall and taking a few days off drinking every week is the best way to go.

Blackpool has the highest alcohol-related death rate in the country, particularly chronic liver disease and is the most common cause for admissions to the Emergency Department.

Dr Shorrock said: “It’s not about a quick fix in January; people need to take two to three days off alcohol every week all year round in order to keep their liver healthy.

“This will keep your total intake down and gives your liver time to recover.

“Providing your liver has no lasting damage, it can repair itself very quickly – it can take as little as 24 hours to go back to normal.”

Dr Shorrock is backing the British Liver Trust’s national Love your Liver Campaign this month which encourages people to lead a healthier lifestyle by making a few small changes to their diet and the way they drink alcohol.

The British Liver Trust is also calling on the Government to make early liver screening available to everyone at risk in a bid to save one million lives a year.

Liver disease is now the fifth biggest killer in the UK, and has increased in the past year, the charity says, as British culture continues to embrace the daily consumption of alcohol and unhealthy food choices.

Dr Shorrock added: “This is a timely campaign as alcohol-related liver cirrhosis rates have reached epidemic proportions in the UK.

“Blackpool has the highest alcohol related mortality rate in the country, particularly in relation to chronic liver disease.

“It is the commonest cause for admissions to the Emergency Department and attendance in acute areas of Blackpool Victoria Hospital, which does have a major impact on the services we provide.

“Hopefully this campaign will get people thinking and talking about their drinking habits, and these conversations will continue long after this month over.”

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