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article imageUrgent action required for liver health

By Tim Sandle     Aug 10, 2015 in Health
Birmingham - Health experts are calling for action to be taken in the Midlands to address health related liver problems. The primary causes of liver disease in this area are: alcohol addiction, obesity and viral hepatitis.
The primary causes and incident rates have been highlighted in a new study. The study calls for urgent action across the East Midlands to improve liver health. The study highlights evidence from the recent Lancet Commission on liver disease. The medical commission detailed main factors that cause liver disease and the key actions to take.
Liver disease (hepatic disease) refers to any form of damage to or disease of the liver. The liver is the second largest organ in the body and serves to remove toxins from the body. Over 100 different types of liver disease have been identified to date — the most common form is viral.
Liver health can be assessed through several tests; the most common is an indirect test for the presence of enzymes in blood, of the type of enzymes that commonly found in liver tissue. The problem with liver disease is that the symptoms are not apparent until the disease has progressed to an advanced state. Symptoms of liver disease include loss of appetite, weight loss and jaundice.
The three types of liver disease that cause the greatest health and social concerns are:
Alcohol-related liver disease: this is due to the liver becoming damaged after years of alcohol misuse. The result can be cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
Fatty liver disease: this refers to a build-up of fat within liver cells. This is usually seen in obese people.
Hepatitis: this is inflammation (swelling) of the liver caused by a viral infection.
In some parts of the U.K. liver disease is a growing concern. Public Health England estimates that the liver disease mortality rate has risen 400 percent since 1970. This is “in contrast to a decline in mortality rate in all other chronic diseases over the same period.”
The area of greatest growth is the East Midlands. Here premature mortality from liver disease has risen 51 percent between 2001 and 2013.
The focus for reducing liver disease is seen as health promotion: persuading people to cut down on alcohol drinking; recognising signs of alcohol dependence; reducing fat and sugar intake; and, with a narrower range of cases, tackling illegal drug use. With this latter point most cases of viral hepatitis are connected with rug misuse. Hepatitis B is a virus which is transmitted through contact with infected blood or other body fluids.
More about Liver, Alcoholism, Hepatitis, Virus, Obesity
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