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Love your liver!

Don't end up with this: Love your liver!

WITH THE SIX NATIONS well under way residents of Ammanford are being urged to find out how to Love their Liver.

Health professionals will be in High Street, Ammanford on Monday (Mar 9) educating people about their liver and how they can keep it healthy.

Dr Ian Rees, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Prince Philip Hospital said: “Many of us may have started 2015 with good intentions of being healthier this year, but by now many New Year’s resolutions will be long forgotten, especially as the six nations is in full flow. You may not hear much about it but your liver is your largest organ and is amazing as it has over 500 different roles in the body! “If you do think about your liver you may think about alcohol. Breaking down the poisons and toxins in your body like alcohol is one job your liver does but there are many more. There are also two other major risk factors which can affect the health of your liver – hepatitis and obesity. The good news is all these risk factors can be minimised by taking some simple steps for example hepatitis C is a blood borne virus so by not sharing needles you can dramatically reduce your risk of getting it.”

Nicola Reeve of Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Blood Borne Virus team said: “With liver damage and Hepatitis C many people may have no specific symptoms as symptoms are often blamed on other things. Hepatitis C is an important cause of liver disease which can be prevented by taking simple precautions. Even a tiny amount of dried blood – too small to be visible to the naked eye – is enough to pass on the infection if it gets into your bloodstream. So on Monday we will be talking to people about it, how they can get tested and what they can do to prevent getting it which includes not sharing personal items such as razors, nail scissors and toothbrushes or any drug paraphernalia. There is treatment but this is more effective if the disease is detected early so if you think you may be at risk come along and have a chat with us on Monday or give us a call on 01554 783535.”

Teresa Owen, Director of Public Health for the Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “If you have not managed to keep to your healthy New Year’s resolution – don’t worry you can start again today and there are many easy ways to Love Your Liver. Being overweight and not doing enough exercise can damage your liver as having fat in your liver can mean it’s more susceptible to damage from alcohol and other liver conditions. So why not see how you can get 20 minutes of exercise into your day and take a look at your diet and make one healthy change. Every little really can help as little changes can turn into big changes over time. Another simple step you can take is to have two alcohol free days a week. Your liver works really hard and can take a lot of abuse so come along and find out how to show it some love.”

The Love Your Liver stand will be at Turning Point’s Ammanford office, 21-23 High Street, Ammanford, from 10am to 4pm on Monday 9 March. If you are unable to visit the stand but want more information go to www. loveyourliver.org.uk.