Most of us indulge over Christmas and New Year so why not make a resolution this year to help improve your long-term health and future.
Health leaders in the Black Country are asking local patients to think about looking after their liver this January for national Love Your Liver month or take up the Dry January challenge. Liver disease is increasing in the UK with one in five people at risk of liver disease - which is the fifth largest cause of death.
There are several steps that we can all take to ensure that our livers are kept healthy, these include:
- Drinking water throughout the day
- Eating a healthy balanced diet, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Reducing portion sizes for your main meals
- Cutting down on your fat and sugar intake
- Simple regular exercise, such as a short walk
Too much alcohol can cause it serious and lasting damage. Try either drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week or taking three days off alcohol each week to give your liver change to repair itself.
As well as reducing your alcohol intake, January is the perfect time to make a resolution to stop smoking which will improve your long-term health and future.
Smoking continues to be the major preventable cause of premature death and disease in England, causing 80,000 deaths and costing the NHS an estimated £2.7 billion each year, according to Public Health England. Around 8.5 million people in England smoke but two-thirds say that they want to quit. Become smoke free this year and help not only your own future health, but the health of your loved ones around you and it will also help save you money.
Dr Nick Harding at NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We would encourage all our patients to give some thought to their long term health this January by either drinking less alcohol to help their liver and/or stop smoking which can benefit your health and the health of your loved ones.”
For more helpful information on stop smoking, eating healthily or exercising more, visit:
The winter campaign to inform patients about the flu vaccine and the right NHS service to use for different conditions and illnesses is being run by the four clinical commissioning groups across the Black Country in association with the Black Country Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.