If I have diabetes, is there anything special I need to do to take care of my liver?

By Caroltoo Latest Reply 2012-01-29 22:50:15 -0600
Started 2012-01-29 20:57:15 -0600

Ever wonder if are overworking our livers with all the medications and other metabolic complications of diabetes? I have, so found this article interesting.

Answer by Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic:

You're wise to wonder about steps to protect your liver. Diabetes raises your risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which excess fat builds up in your liver even if you drink little or no alcohol. This condition occurs in at least half of those with type 2 diabetes and close to half of those with type 1. Other medical conditions related to diabetes — including obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure — also raise your risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Fatty liver disease itself often causes no symptoms. But it raises your risk of developing liver inflammation or scarring (cirrhosis). It's also linked to an increased risk of liver cancer and heart disease.

Your best defense against fatty liver disease includes these strategies:
Work with your health care team to achieve good control of your blood sugar.
Lose weight if you need to, and try to maintain a healthy weight.
Take steps to reduce high blood pressure.
Keep your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol and triglycerides — a type of blood fat — within recommended limits.
Don't drink too much alcohol.

If you have diabetes, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound examination of your liver when you're first diagnosed and regular follow-up blood tests to monitor your liver function.


5 replies

blondy62 2012-01-29 22:28:42 -0600 Report

I have to have a batteryof tests done every 6 months. They ( the doc's office) usually just discuss a few results with me, mainly ones to do with my diabetes.So in one of the more extensive set of tests that had been run, it showed that part of my liver is not working, but they didn't seem too concerned …

Caroltoo 2012-01-29 22:41:52 -0600 Report

Yes, I've done the batteries of tests too; actually for longer than I have been diabetic because I was taking some medications as a result of breaking my back which could have ended up causing liver damage. Thankfully, none was ever indicated, but I was sure tested extensively every 3-6 months.

For me, the issue is that since our diabetes can cause fatty liver disease which can lead to cirrhosis and part of the liver being unable to function, I'd like to know how to try to avoid this complication. According to this article treatment of high cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL seem to be the key.

blondy62 2012-01-29 22:50:15 -0600 Report

That is a great question, one that I hadn't really thought of before! I knew there was a chance of liver damage, but hadn't even thought that other than not taking the meds, there may be a way to prevent the problem!

MEGriff1950 2012-01-29 21:14:47 -0600 Report

I think about this quite often and I must say it is a good subject to bring up here Carol. I take Several supplements especially the Omega 3, 6, and 9's.

Caroltoo 2012-01-29 21:41:47 -0600 Report

I've recently added on a capsule called "Complete Neuro-Vascular Support" which contains Benfotiamine, B6, B12 to my Niacin, Krill Oil, and CoQ10 (liquid Qunol). As my LDL is a little higher than it should be, I am also trying guggulow at my doctor's suggestion. We shall see in a few months.