The liver is the body's unsung hero, quietly working away to make the vital substances that keep a wide range of essential body processes ticking over, breaking down chemicals that would otherwise be toxic and hoovering up worn-out blood cells. But liver disease is currently very low on the primary care agenda compared to other long-term conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory conditions. Awarded 'nil points' on the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), the liver doesn't get a look in when it comes to health checks and dedicated clinics. So how can we make sure the liver isn't left out of consultations?
General practices are under increasing pressure to initiate insulin in type 2 diabetes, as it would be more efficient for the health service and more convenient for most patients. There are many different approaches to starting insulin, but it is essential for practice nurses to work closely with patients and progress slowly to ensure successful and safe outcomes.
The liver has many functions, and therefore diseases of the liver have numerous consequences. These can be detected and monitored with blood tests. This article provides a review of liver function tests, or LFTs, and how they relate to the key functions of the liver and some of the most common liver diseases.
Fat is an important part of the diet, providing fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, as well as a valuable source of energy or calories. Fat also increases the palatability and carries the flavour of many of our foods. The problem is, despite decades of public health campaigns, most of us still eat too much of the wrong fat. Understanding the different types of fat can help us to advise our patients on ways to optimise their diets.
Excessive alcohol consumption has joined smoking and obesity as one of today's major threats to public health. It is a major cause of liver disease, as well as a range of cancers, cardiovascular disease and mental illness. What's the solution? We look at how primary care can identify patients who are drinking too much and what interventions can help.
Chronic liver disease is a problem for all of us. It develops silently, often taking many years to cause sufficient damage to be detectable or cause signs or symptoms for which a patient would seek attention. Primary care has a central role in improving the prevention and early detection of chronic liver disease. This special issue of the British Journal of Primary Care Nursing (BJPCN) and Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal on chronic liver disease is full of step-by-step guides and informative articles to give you the key information and tools to get to grips with this important condition.
Like falling off a cliff' or 'falling into a black hole'. This is how stroke survivors and their carers often describe discharge from hospital back to their own home. Recognising this issue, the National Stroke Strategy recommended planned reviews to identify unmet needs for health and social care, and secondary prevention. This article discusses tools designed to help professionals to review the evolving needs of stroke survivors and their families.