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What Is the Connection between Liver Damage and Diabetes?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Liver damage and diabetes can be related in one of two ways, the most common being that many conditions and behaviors which can lead to diabetes can also lead to liver damage. There are also links between adult onset diabetes, or type-2 diabetes, and inflammation of the liver. This is primarily caused by insulin resistance and fatty buildup in the liver itself. Many conditions linking liver damage and diabetes are fully preventable or treatable. Type-1 diabetes does not appear to have any impact on the liver.

There are many conditions that may cause both liver damage and diabetes. Obesity and alcoholism are two examples, both of which are preventable in most cases. Those who lead sedentary lifestyles and who eat too much high-fat food are also more prone to getting diabetes and resulting damage to the liver at some point in their lives. Additionally, a condition known as hemochromatosis is also responsible for some cases of liver damage and diabetes.

Hemochromatosis is a condition which causes the body to absorb more iron than necessary from food. The body is not designed to naturally release this excessive iron, so it is stored in various tissues of the body. This can eventually lead organs to malfunction due to toxic overload. If the liver and pancreas are amongst the organs impacted, severe damage can result. Hemochromatosis is treatable and usually requires the removal of blood since iron is also carried within the bloodstream.

Another potential relationship between liver damage and diabetes is that the insulin resistance common with type-2 diabetes can eventually lead to liver damage. This is usually due to fatty deposits which accumulate around the liver. These fatty deposits may be caused by eating too much fat and calories. Those who are obese are a higher risk of developing liver damage along with diabetes since it is a common risk factor of both, although even those who are a healthy weight may also have too much fatty buildup.

The best way to control diabetes and related liver damage is to eat a healthy diet and to exercise regularly. Those with additional health conditions should seek the advice of a trained medical professional for treatment information. Diabetics must also check their blood sugar regularly to ensure that it stays within a a healthy range.

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