Liver damage ‘can be reversible’ – at-home test could detect early stages
Liver disease: NHS Doctor talks about link with alcohol
Dr Gill Hart, Scientific Director at YorkTest, is recommending people to take control of their health by doing a liver function test.
The test can be taken from the comfort of a person’s home and measures seven key markers, from the protein globulin to the enzyme alanine aminotransferase.
A high level of alanine aminotransferase, for example, could indicate liver damage.
Users receive a kit through their letterbox and then post a finger-prick blood sample to its UKAS-accredited and CQC-compliant laboratory partner, which analyses the sample.
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Test results are securely returned within seven days, which comes along with tailored advice.
Dr Hart said: “By launching a standalone liver function test, we hope to empower more adults who want to benchmark their current statistics against recommended levels and be aware of any potential hidden health risks.”
Whether the liver damage is down to excessive alcohol consumption over the years, or obesity, liver damage “can be reversible”.
Dr Hart elaborated: “The good news is that liver damage can be reversible with simple acts such as taking more exercise, changing your diet or cutting down on alcohol.”
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There are also additional benefits to cutting down on alcohol, from feeling more energised to hydration and feeling clear-headed.
Dr Hart said: “It’s no secret that the UK’s relationship with alcohol is changing.
“While problems like dependency may remain challenging, many ‘social’ drinkers are becoming curious to how their life could be if they adopt a no or low-alcohol lifestyle.”
There are said to be “fairly obvious” advantages of cutting down on alcohol, including enabling the liver time to heal itself.
Dr Hart added: “People can retake the test every three months too, to monitor their progress after making healthy changes.”
For people who are currently overweight, some excess fat is stored in the liver, which can be damaging to the organ.
This is why introducing more exercise into your daily regime is recommended as a preventative measure as well as a way to improve liver function.
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