DIY liver test warning30th October 2007
The British Liver Trust has warned that a newly launched self-administered liver test should not be relied on "too heavily".
The test has been designed in order to record enzyme levels which are released into the blood by damaged liver cells caused by too much alcohol.
The LiverCheck test's manufacturers say that it will let people change poor drinking habits and take charge of their own health. It costs £100 and will be sold online and by phone.
However, the British Liver Trust said the test only gave a "snapshot" of how healthy a liver was and cautioned that clear results could "encourage excessive drinking".
A person using the test will send a small blood sample to a lab and will be sent back their results within a week. The colour-coded results are designed so that a person receiving dark amber or red will know they need to stop drinking or cut down.
People who display extreme results will be called by the lab to encourage them to visit their GP.
Dr Rajiv Jalan, a liver expert at London's University College Hospital, said: "There is no doubt in my mind that it will save lives."
Symptoms of liver damage include feeling poorly, tired, a loss of appetite and pain in the area below the lower right-hand side of the ribs.
Professor Humphrey Hodgson, of the Royal Free Hospital and spokesperson for the British Liver Trust, said: "The last thing we want is the promotion of a false sense of security which results in people drinking at hazardous and harmful levels."
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Title: DIY liver test warning
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 4604
Date Added: 30th Oct 2007