Likewise vehicles, our body needs fuel to run the essential functionalities. And that fuel is glucose, which is produced and stored in the liver. This largest solid internal organ aids in seamlessly maintaining blood sugar levels and other essentials. Any injury in the liver can lead to diabetes, which is a risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). So, both are bi-directionally connected in a complex manner. Thus, creating a vicious circle that can lead to several complications and influence overall health.
According to WHO, 8.7% of the diabetic population in India falls in the age group of 20 and 70. This has brought the spotlight on the need for understanding this dreadful circle and working on solutions to mitigate the risks. For this, we need to look closely at this complex relationship.
The liver is one of the important organs that play a critical role in digestion. It sits in the upper right-hand portion of the abdomen cavity and helps control glucose levels in the blood. A healthy liver upholds the normal range of glucose. In case this organ gets any disease or injury, it may affect the glucose level and lead to diabetes.
When you eat something, all the carbohydrates in the food dwindle to the simplest forms called glucose that bolster various body functionalities. The left glucose is then stored in the liver in the form of glycogen via a process called glycogenesis.
When the blood glucose concentration reduces (hypoglycemia), the liver begins a process called glycogenolysis. Through this, the hepatic cells (liver-specific mesenchymal cells) convert glycogen into glucose and release it into the bloodstream until the levels approach the standard range.
There’s a hormone that transports glucose into the blood and signals the liver to store blood sugar for later use called insulin secreted by the pancreas. When your body doesn’t have ample insulin or cells don’t respond to insulin correctly, called insulin resistance, a condition occurs known as hyperglycemia or high blood sugar.
When blood sugar rises for a long duration, it can turn into diabetes, which is lethal to health if you do not take the right steps at the right moment
The long persistence of diabetes could result in a liver condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is an umbrella term for a wide range of liver ailments. It can even occur to a person who drinks little to no drink.
NAFLD is increasingly becoming common around the world. The main characteristic of this condition is the build-up of too much fat in the liver cells. It is marked by liver inflammation and may even lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer and failure.
And these diseases can affect the whole metabolism and absorption process and even the blood glucose level, which can translate into diabetes.
According to a study, at least half of type 2 diabetes patients have NAFLD. If the patient has both NAFLD and diabetes, it can worsen fatty liver disease. In case you are one of them, you need to be extra cautious about your physical health.
Also Read: Fatty Liver disease