Free liver checks to be offered at mobile unit in Leeds to pick up early signs of 'silent killer' disease
A mobile screening unit will arrive in Leeds tomorrow (Tuesday October 5) to offer free liver checks to the city’s men and women - in the hope of picking up early signs of ‘silent killer’ liver disease.
It is thought one in five adults in Leeds may be walking around with liver disease and are completely unaware, as there are usually no symptoms in the early stages.
That warning has come from the British Liver Trust who will be bringing its mobile liver screening unit to the city on Tuesday from 10am to 4pm, at Dortmund Square on The Headrow.
The charity’s ‘Love Your Liver’ roadshow encourages men and women to get a free liver scan at the unit and help find out how to keep their liver healthy.
Nine in 10 cases of liver disease are preventable with the main causes being alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis.
Pamela Healy, chief executive of British Liver Trust, said: “One in five of us are at risk of liver disease and the numbers of people being diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate.
“Liver damage develops silently with no signs or symptoms and people often don’t realise they have a problem until it is too late.
“Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left until symptoms appear, the damage is often irreversible.
“The Love Your Liver roadshow is a great opportunity for people to find out their risk of liver disease and receive free liver scan to see if there is any early damage.
“Approximately 20 per cent of the people our liver nurses scan, need to have further checks.”
Forward Leeds, the city’s alcohol and drug service, is supporting the event and will be providing staff on site as well.
Anne Marie McMullan, area manager of the service for city and south Leeds, said: “This is a great opportunity for anyone who is concerned about their drinking to have a chat with a professional about lifestyle changes they can make now to improve the health of their liver.
“You can stop by have a quick chat and a brief check-up to see if it’s advisable to get scanned without the need to see a GP.
“At Forward Leeds we have a Fibroscan machine, similar to the one used by the British Liver Trust.
“We’re using it with people we support to help them understand the harm they are doing to themselves by drinking alcohol that isn’t visible to them yet.”
The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps for liver health - to drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week; cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat and take more exercise; and know the risk factors of viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk.
Anyone unable to attend the mobile roadshow can find out risk factors and check liver health online by completing the online screening test at https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/screener.
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