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Understanding the Link Between Fatty Liver Disease & Type 2 Diabetes

What is fatty liver disease?
Fatty liver disease is a condition where fat builds up in your liver. This condition can lead to inflammation of cells, causing the liver to get bigger.

There are 2 main types of this condition:

  • Nonalcoholic – This is a condition where fat deposits are not caused due to alcohol consumption.
  • Alcoholic also known as alcoholic steatohepatitis is caused due to excessive alcohol consumption.

Fatty liver risk factor for type 2 diabetes: Fatty liver disease is not directly caused due to diabetes type 2. Obesity and insulin resistance are common to both. Uncontrolled obesity and A1c levels can cause fatty liver in diabetics. Fatty liver can be a concern as it can affect the metabolism and blood sugar regulation. If left unchecked, it can increase the risk of a heart disease.

Major risk factor includes:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Being obese
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes

For type 2 diabetics the insulin resistance can cause changes in hormones and can affect enzymes in the body leading to increase in free fatty acids that can flow into the liver.

How to diagnose fatty liver?

  • Blood Test : Blood test help identify abnormal liver. It helps detect inflamed liver cells.
  • Imaging Studies : Abdominal ultrasounds can help diagnose this condition although it cannot differentiate between a fatty liver in general and non alcoholic fatty liver.
  • Liver Biopsy : A liver biopsy is expensive however analyzing the tissue can help detect the difference between a fatty liver in general and a non alcoholic fatty liver.

Better diabetes management: Fatty liver can be prevented and reversed.

  • Weight loss: Losing weight helps and can do wonders for the liver. But make sure weight loss is a gradual process as rapid weight loss can worsen the condition.
  • Exercise: Exercise again leads to weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity which can improve the condition.
  • Medication: Certain diabetes pills like metformin boost insulin sensitivity and can prove beneficial.
  • Diet: Diet plays a key role in the production of liver fat. Controlled and well managed diet is key to diabetes management and liver fat. Limiting saturated and trans fats can help increase sensitivity to insulin and lower inflammation. Limiting carbs lowers sugar level in blood and can help promote better management of diabetes.

Invest in a glucometer:
Maintaining a good lifestyle and normal blood sugar levels can be difficult. Regular sugar test is costly and time taking. Instead invest in a glucometer. You can buy glucometer online. The best glucometer would be a one which connects with a diabetes management app. Staying connected via a diabetes management app you can sync your readings and share whenever and wherever to your doctor or family. You can also alert important contacts when blood sugar is low or high.

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