Introduce Fibro-Scans to Fight Liver Disease Now

I have called for the introduction of ‘Fibro-Scans’ to help fight the growing rate of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

Ireland is currently facing a silent epidemic of liver disease. NAFLD is driven by obesity and high fat, salt and sugar diets, left undiagnosed the damage can become irreversible, however, if caught early enough patients can avoid future problems.

There exists an attitude in Ireland that liver disease is reserved for patients with alcohol dependencies, but this is not the case. Obesity and diabetes as well as poor diet leaves many at risk, with most not even realising the extent of the problem.

Worryingly, NAFLD has remained underdiagnosed despite Ireland’s accelerating rate of obesity. This is mainly a result of ineffective diagnosis methods; the vast majority of NAFLD is not detected during routine liver checks, such as blood tests.

However, a ten minute Fibro-Scan can produce a diagnosis of NAFLD in moments; it is a simple procedure that is non-invasive and pain free, moreover, the procedure can be carried out in a GP’s office and is cost effective.

This is an issue that requires greater attention and urgent action. We face a tsunami of liver disease in the coming years and by acting now we can lessen the damage done to countless lives in the future. This simple solution can prevent serious conditions; we must recognise that NAFLD poses a real problem that will only get worse as obesity levels rise.

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