Preventing Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
When was the last time you had a chat with your doctor about your liver? Can’t remember? Maybe never? Well, it’s probably time to do so. Most people who have diabetes think very little about the connection between liver disease and Type 2 diabetes. But statistics show that at least 50% of those with Type 2 will develop fatty liver disease, and some research shows that figure may even be as high as 70%.
What is fatty liver disease?
To be more exact, fatty liver disease is technically called “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,” or NAFLD, for short. As the name implies, it’s characterized by a buildup of fat in the liver that’s unrelated to drinking alcohol. The extent of fat buildup can determine the extent of liver damage, ranging from a small accumulation of fat (called steatosis) to a large amount that causes inflammation (called steatohepatitis). Without treatment, NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis (chronic scarring and damage), liver failure, and possibly liver cancer.
What causes NAFLD?
NAFLD is becoming increasingly common; in fact, it’s the most common type of liver disease in the developed world. It’s also a very complex condition. There’s no one specific cause, but it appears that this disease is linked to:
• Being overweight or obese
• Having insulin resistance (a condition whereby the body doesn’t use its own insulin properly)
• Having high blood sugar levels (prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes)
• Having high levels of fat, called triglycerides, in the blood
• Having sleep apnea
• Having PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
In addition, NAFLD Continue reading