Next week, Forward Leeds will be encouraging the people who attend their alcohol and drug service to test the health of their liver using new high-tech machines.
As part of the #HealthyLiversLeeds campaign the service is having a special push on testing in the week beginning Monday 21 February 2022 for the people it supports.
People will be able to find out how healthy their liver is by getting a free, non-invasive test using a Fibroscan machine that uses ultrasound technology and provides a result immediately.
The machines will be used across the city’s three sites in Armley, Seacroft and the city centre to help people see the hidden damage that excessive drinking can cause.
Area Manager for Forward Leeds Anne-Marie McMullan explained:
“Often people aren’t aware of the damage that regular drinking can cause. Alcohol-related liver disease doesn’t usually have any symptoms until your liver has been severely damaged. The first signs your liver is harmed can be when it’s too late.
“The liver is very important. As well as removing poisons from the blood, you need it to digest food and to help fight infection and disease. The liver is really resilient, and it can recover, provided you give it the chance to do so. We are hoping that by highlighting the invisible damage that has already been done, people will want to change their lifestyle and prevent the serious health issues caused by liver disease.”
In Leeds there were 1,620 liver disease-related hospital admissions in 2020/21, according to the latest figures from the government’s Office of Health Improvement and Disparities.
Right now, Forward Leeds has two of the machines that were purchased with a Public Health England grant but the service hopes to make the machines available at GPs surgeries and health centres across the city so that more people can get tested.
To support the testing Forward Leeds will also be sharing a range of messages on social media encouraging everyone in Leeds to think about how important their liver is and to consider making lifestyle changes that will prevent significant harm.
For more information about Forward Leeds and the services they provide, visit www.forwardleeds.co.uk.
This post is based on a press release issued by Forward Leeds
Photo: Forward Leeds Area Manager Anne-Marie McMullan with one of the Fibroscan machines