If your new year resolution is to improve your health, then why not look after your liver in 2018!

The Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are supporting the national Love Your Liver month and also encouraging people to take up the Dry January challenge.

Liver disease is increasing in the UK with one in five people at risk of developing the disease, which is the fifth biggest 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 and including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
Reducing meal portion sizes
Cutting down on fat and sugar
Regular exercise, such as a short walk
Too much alcohol can cause your liver 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 a chance 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. Becoming smoke free will 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 Richard Mendelsohn, a local GP and Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCGs, 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.”