Postgraduate Medicine

Postgraduate Medicine

Medical Journals

  • What is liver disease?
  • The link between liver disease and diabetes
  • How to treat liver disease diabetes
  • How to prevent liver disease diabetes in the first place

Liver disease diabetes is a term that appears to have increased in popularity lately, given new research that is being done in this area. But what is this form of diabetes, what causes it, and how can you treat it? Read on to find out. 

What is Liver Disease?

Liver disease is the swelling of the liver. It can be caused by alcohol use, obesity, or other factors. Symptoms of liver disease include easy bruising, bleeding gums, confusion, and jaundice. Liver disease can also be caused by viral hepatitis or cirrhosis, and possibly diabetes.

The link between liver disease and diabetes

The relationship between liver disease and diabetes is still not very fully understood. There is a strong correlation between the two diseases, but scientists don’t know if one causes the other or if they are both caused by some other factor.

This is because when fat builds up in the liver, it can cause inflammation that reduces insulin production, which then leads to type 2 diabetes.

Can liver disease cause diabetes, or vice versa?

The liver is a vital organ that works hard to keep the body healthy. It helps with digestion, produces a variety of important blood proteins, and removes toxins from the bloodstream. The liver has many functions in the body, one of which is to manage glucose levels in the blood. If it becomes diseased or damaged, there’s a link between that and diabetes. One of the main causes is hepatitis C, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Because the liver plays such a major role in breaking down food into sugar (glucose), it can lead to high blood sugar levels and diabetes. Although not much is known, diabetes type 2 can also lead to fatty liver disease.

How to treat liver disease diabetes

To be clear, liver disease diabetes may, given the above information, be the same thing as diabetes type 2. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects the body’s ability to produce and respond to insulin. If left unchecked, type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as coronary artery disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and amputation.

It typically develops over time as the body becomes less responsive to its own insulin or doesn’t produce enough insulin.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes includes medication, lifestyle changes, and possibly oral medication depending on severity.

  • Medication for type 2 diabetes: Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. There are four main classes of drugs used to treat this condition: insulin, oral agents, insulin secretagogues, and incretin enhancers.
  • Lifestyle changes to treat type 2 diabetes: Research has shown that lifestyle changes may help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or improve symptoms. Such changes include taking in a minimum of sugar, being thorough with injecting the right amount of insulin, and in general, eating and living healthy.
  • Oral medication to treat type 2 diabetes: A new medication has been approved by the US FDA to treat type 2 diabetes. This oral medication is not a sugar-lowering pill, but a drug that blocks the enzyme needed for metabolizing sugars. A few weeks of taking this drug can severely reduce blood sugar levels for those who have type 2 diabetes. It is only to be used in critical situations, not on a long-term basis.

How to prevent liver disease diabetes in the first place

Liver disease diabetes may, as shown above, be caused by liver disease, which in turn is caused by a build-up of fat in the liver cells. This can lead to inflammation and scarring of the liver.

There are many ways that you could prevent this from happening, including:

Avoiding alcohol: Alcohol is a major cause of liver disease, and it’s the leading preventable cause of death. Drinking alcohol has been shown to contribute to over 100 different illnesses and diseases, including stroke, cancer, and dementia.

Avoiding fatty foods: In order to prevent liver disease, it is important to avoid fatty foods. There are a number of things that can cause liver disease, including alcoholism, obesity, and diabetes. A study from the United States Department of Health and Human Services even found that hepatitis C is more prevalent in people with a fatty liver.

Doing a healthy amount of exercise every day: While obesity and diabetes are the most common causes of liver disease, a poor lifestyle can also contribute to liver damage. Doing a healthy amount of exercise every day reduces your risk of developing this condition.