Give your liver a break
This January hundreds of people across the country will be taking part in Dry January.
The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of the risks to people who regularly drink more than the recommended daily guidelines and to highlight that the majority of people who have alcohol-related health problems aren’t necessarily alcoholics.
Whilst there is no guaranteed safe level of drinking, drinking less than the recommended daily limit does lower the risks of harming your health.
Most people who regularly drink more than the NHS recommends don’t see any harmful effects at first, as alcohol’s hidden harms usually only emerge after a number of years.
There are many ways you can love your liver and help it to function at its best. If you do like a tipple then stick to your recommended daily allowance: Men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol a day, and women should not regularly drink more than two to three units of alcohol a day.
If you do drink alcohol regularly it is important to take two or three days in a row off from drinking as this will keep your total intake down and give your liver time to recover.
Some of the benefits of giving up alcohol include improved sleep, weight loss, improved skin and hair quality and, of course, saving money.
Most importantly, it gives you the chance to review your alcohol consumption and, if you need to, to adjust it for the longer term to keep the risks from alcohol low.
The NHS also recommends that a healthy lifestyle such as eating well and taking exercise regularly will help to optimise your liver function.
In many cases, people with liver disease do not have any noticeable symptoms until their liver is badly damaged. Early symptoms can include abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and feeling tired and generally unwell. If you do have any of these symptoms and you feel you may have pushed the boundaries with alcohol or fatty food, please speak to your GP.
Many people who take the challenge of giving up alcohol find that the health benefits they notice over the month encourage them to reassess their drinking habits and make positive long-term changes. So, why not take the challenge, save some money and give your body a break.