Managing blood sugar levels is a daily effort requiring dedication to a healthy lifestyle for individuals with diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body and multiple vital organs such as the liver. Shared risks and other influences deepen potential complications, revealing an undeniable link between diabetes and liver disease. This link is why all diabetics should read this blog so better care can be taken when it comes to their liver health.
Diabetes and Liver Disease
We are only just beginning to scratch the surface on what links diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Continued heavy accumulations of fat can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver. Without intervention, the liver will begin to lose its ability to function and advance into cirrhosis and liver failure.
Here is what we know and why monitoring your liver health with diabetes is critical in preventing loss of liver function and other long-term consequences.
- Shared risk factors:
- Obesity, insulin resistance, and high levels of triglycerides in the blood increase the risk of NAFLD. These are also common symptoms in type 2 diabetics.
- Having one boosts your chances of developing the other:
- NAFLD tends to worsen in the presence of diabetes, doubling the risk for severe complications such as cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver transplant.
- Insulin resistance signals the body to manufacture fat, promoting its accumulation in the liver, other organs, arteries, and storage areas. With high insulin levels in the blood, your body loses its ability to control blood sugar levels. Eventually, blood sugar levels become high enough to diagnose diabetes.
Reducing Your Risk
There is no big secret when it comes to reducing your risk of developing liver disease. A healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of every plan for overall health. Keeping your sugars within acceptable ranges is vital to avoiding complications, along with regularly seeing your doctor and following all treatment recommendations. You can stop, reverse, and potentially prevent liver disease progression by:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
- Eating a well-balanced diet low in carbohydrates and avoiding foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
- Managing other chronic conditions
- Having your liver regularly checked to monitor any changes.
You Need Your Liver. Take Care of It.
If you have diabetes, your liver function is on the line. Knowing its health is vital to early detection, potential prevention, and management of liver disease. South Texas Research Institute offers FREE fibroscans for adults at risk of developing liver disease due to diabetes or other factors. Fibroscan is a quick, painless, and non-invasive way to determine liver health and accurately diagnose the various forms of liver disease. Call us at (956) 284-6353 today to schedule your appointment or submit a request online.