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Home / Weight Loss / ‘Wake-up call’ over liver disease risks due to weight

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BBC: One in eight middle-aged adults in the UK could have a potentially serious form of liver disease – because they are overweight.

Scans of nearly 3,000 individuals from the UK Biobank research project showed that 12% had inflamed, fatty livers.
The British Liver Trust said the “very alarming” findings were a ‘wake-up call’ because the condition can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and death.

Hepatologists said there was a silent epidemic of fatty liver disease.

This is especially worrying because symptoms often do not emerge until permanent damage is done – but the condition is reversible if caught in time. Back to normal Frances Carroll, aged 52, from Oxford, was told she had fatty liver disease seven years ago. At the time she weighed over 18 stone (116 kilos). She lost 7 stone, and went down from a size 22 to a 12.

Frances said: “I was shocked when I was told my liver was diseased, but determined to do something about it. I started by eating more healthily and then combined that with physical activity – I’m delighted my liver is back to normal.”

Frances now teaches fitness classes and does nutrition coaching.

She said: “Back in 2011 I would not have believed that I would end up as a personal trainer. I used to get out of breath when I walked any distance – now I run up hills!”

And she has had a new type of MRI scan which has showed her liver is healthy again.

The results of the MRI scanning study, led by scientists in Oxford, were announced at the International Liver Congress in Paris.

They were made possible by an innovative software analysis tool called LiverMultiScan, developed by Perspectum Diagnostics, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford.

Dr Rajarshi Banerjee, CEO of Perspectum Diagnostics said: “LiverMultiScan is a great example of a smart health technology discovered and developed by UK clinicians and scientists with clear benefits for patients, the NHS, and taxpayers.

“Whilst liver biopsy remains an important part of hepatology practice, clearly we need better non-invasive tools at our disposal to evaluate the nature and severity of liver disease.”

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