Logo: “Is my liver healthy?”
On 20th November 2009, German Liver Help Association (Deutsche Leberhilfe e.V.) and partners, such as Deutsche Leberstiftung and Gastroliga and others, organized the 10th German Liver Day to create more awareness for liver diseases.
“Is my liver healthy?” was the motto of this year’s liver day. While German Liver Day creates awareness around liver diseases in general, this year’s focus was on fatty liver diseases. The causes of fatty liver are as different as their rates of progression: The majority of fatty livers in Germany are found in overweight and diabetic patients. Alcohol, some medical drugs as well as other chronic liver diseases may also cause fatty liver. There is still some mystery about fatty liver patients who do not fit into any of these categories.
Fatty liver diseases cover a wide range of mild liver changes up to inflammation and dangerous end-stage diseases. While most fatty livers do not progress to advanced liver diseases, up to 10% can turn into a dangerous inflammation of the liver, which is called non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH may lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. An early diagnosis and lifestyle interventions such as a balanced diet and sports may prevent serious liver damage. A simple blood test (ALT) may give patients a first hint that “something is wrong” in their liver.
Leberhilfe and partners worked closely together with local doctors, clinics, health offices (“Gesundheitsämter”) and patient groups on 10th German Liver Day. There was be a central press conference with well-known hepatologists such as Prof. Manns, local patient seminars and expert hotlines all over Germany. Also, newspapers and the radio promoted an online liver check at www.lebertest.de, where people can check if they are at risk for a liver disease, including NASH, alcoholic liver disease, and viral hepatitis. If the online liver check detects that you might have any risk factors, it will recommend to seek a doctor’s advice.
The German Liver Day website can be found here.