Health Services,

Love your liver!

A reminder to love your liver to avoid any potential lifestyle-related diseases down the track, with fatty liver disease now affecting almost a quarter of Australian adults.

LRH Liver Nurse Phoebe Van Lambaart has warned that metabolic-associated fatty liver disease has become the leading cause for liver transplants in Australia.

Phoebe said this is due to risk factors including type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and high lipids.

She said a GP can screen for any potential problems with a simple blood test.

The liver has 500 known functions, with its main job to filter and detoxify anything that goes through our digestive system, breaking down harmful substances so we can safely get rid of them.

But if the liver is not working properly, a domino effect of problems may occur. Ongoing liver inflammation can lead to liver fibrosis, then potentially, cirrhosis and cancer.

Liver cancer is the fastest-growing cause of cancer death in Australia and more than 7000 Aussies die each year from chronic liver disease, according to peak body LiverWELL.

“Hepatitis C used to be used to be the leading cause for liver transplantation in Australia, but now Hep C can now be treated and cured with medications,” Phoebe said.

The good news is Gippsland is the second-highest ranking region in Australia for people being treated for Hepatitis C.

“The rates of Hepatitis C have reduced since the introduction of antivirals on the PBS for treatment,” Phoebe said.

“It’s now metabolic-dysfunction associated liver disease that is on the rise. We need to love our livers, so our liver can look after us.”

LRH runs a specialised liver clinic offering consultation and Fibroscan, a simple non-invasive technique used to assess for liver stiffness.

“Liver disease was notoriously stigmatised in the past, and people with Hepatitis B or C and alcohol-related liver disease, have felt excluded or discriminated against,” Phoebe said.

“But liver disease can affect a wide array of people, such as those who are obese or live sedentary lifestyles, and we are seeing more younger people with risk factors for liver disease in our clinic.”

Phoebe urges anyone who is concerned about their liver health to speak with their GP, or contact the LRH liver clinic for some advice.

General enquiries can be made by contacting or 51738360.

Referrals can be made at the LRH Liver Clinic at the Gippsland Private Consulting Suites, phone 5173 8111.