Full programme transcript >>
In this week’s edition of Case Notes, Mark Porter explores Britain’s growing problem of liver disease. With his guest, the Liver Specialist, Professor Humphrey Hodgson, he looks at the damage that food as well as drink can do and what we can do to prevent it.
We all know the importance of looking after our heart, brain and even our bones, but few of us give much thought to our liver. That’s until things start to go wrong, by which time the damage has been done.
Alcohol is one of the main culprits. Excessive drinking triggers cirrhosis, the growth of scar tissue in the liver, which eventually destroys its ability to function, and can lead to liver failure.
Binge drinking, late licensing hours and the ready availability of affordable alcohol are blamed for the worrying trend. And it’s not uncommon for doctors to see patients in their twenties with cirrhosis.
Mark Porter talks to Dr Nick Sheron, a Founder of Alcohol Health Alliance UK, about how to spot those at risk of alcoholic liver disease before it’s too late.
Fast on the heels of alcohol, is obesity. An excessive build up of fat in the liver can cause inflammation, known as Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. But if the disease is caught early, a relatively small drop in weight can help reverse the damage to the liver.
Most people with liver disease don't now they have it until permanent damage has been done, when the condition can be life threatening. Mark Porter looks at new techniques that spot problems before they become irreversible. With adequate warning, and decisive action, many patients stand a good chance of making a recovery.
Next week: Fainting