Love Your Liver.
We’ve all heard of Dry January to give our liver a rest after the excesses of Christmas and New Year celebrations, so what’s Love Your Liver month?
Love Your Liver month is a national campaign to raise awareness of liver health, helping us identify the signs of poor health and make lifestyle changes for improvement.
The liver is a major multi-tasker in the body, doing over 500 jobs to keep us alive, so, it really is important that we take care of it. A damaged liver can, up to a point, repair itself, with 9 in 10 cases of liver disease being preventable. Sadly, people often don’t have symptoms until the disease has progressed and the treatment options are greatly reduced.
Over 600,000 people in the UK are estimated to have some form of serious liver disease, and they could be amongst your work force. With so much stigma around liver disease, liver disease = problems with alcohol, many people will keep their condition hidden from the people they work with.
How can you help as an employer?
Recognising the signs– Liver problems develop silently with no obvious symptoms in the early stages, so you may not notice any changes with your employees. However, you can look out for symptoms such as, frequent absences and being tired all the time, unexplained weight loss and, given the stigma surrounding liver problems, the feeling an employee is hiding something.
Creating a supportive environment– Employers should always provide a workplace that is inclusive and supportive. A workplace that promotes a positive company culture that champions open lines of communication, and is free of judgement, is even more important when employees are living with an often-stigmatised condition.
Be flexible– As an employer you have a duty of care to make reasonable adjustments to support employees, this could include adjusting their working hours, and allowing time off to manage periods of illness and to attend appointments. Be aware that employees may not wish others to know of their condition and be sensitive to their needs.
For more information on liver disease and how to support your employees visit: NHS.gov