This is an excellent time for women to focus on improving their physical health by talking to their doctor, being more active, eating a healthy, balanced diet, prioritizing mental health and learning more about the link between diabetes and liver disease.
Diabetes2 raises the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition in which excess fat builds up in the liver even for those who drink little or no alcohol. NAFLD is more likely to affect women more than men, in particular, among the population 56-603 years of age, which is the post-menopausal transitional period.
Diabetes and Liver Disease
NAFLD occurs in at least half of those with Type 2 diabetes—and may play a role in its development. Furthermore, poorly managed Type 2 diabetes can make fatty liver disease worse.
While fatty liver disease (FLD) typically has no symptoms, it raises the risk of developing liver inflammation or scarring (cirrhosis). It’s also linked to an increased risk of liver cancer, heart disease and kidney disease.
The best strategies for liver health and defense4 against FLD includes:
• Achieving good control of blood sugar
• Maintaining a healthy weight
• Reducing high blood pressure
• Keeping low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides — a type of blood fat — within recommended limits
• Avoiding drinking too much alcohol
For anyone living with diabetes, their doctor may use a non-invasive tool to identify and monitor for liver disease.
Importance of Early Detection
Studies5 show that FibroScan®, a non-invasive technology that quickly provides a quantitative assessment of liver stiffness and liver fat at the point of care, is effective for assessing liver disease. FibroScan® makes it possible to quickly and non-invasively combat liver disease when caught early.
During National Women’s Health Week, we invite everyone to join us in raising awareness about the impact of diabetes and liver disease on women’s health and the value of early detection for reversing or halting liver damage for a healthier life overall.
3.Summart, Ueamporn et al. “Gender differences in the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the Northeast of Thailand: A population-based cross-sectional study.” F1000Research vol. 6 1630. 4 Sep. 2017, doi:10.12688/f1000research.12417.2
5.Nguyen-Khac E, Chatelain D, Tramier B, Decrombecque C, Robert B, Joly JP, Brevet M, Grignon P, Lion S, Le Page L, Dupas JL. Assessment of asymptomatic liver fibrosis in alcoholic patients using fibroscan: prospective comparison with seven non-invasive laboratory tests. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Nov 15;28(10):1188-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03831.x. Epub 2008 Aug 14. PMID: 18705692.