Effects of Diabetes on Liver Health

Dr. Tashko, a diabetes specialist, prioritizes liver health, addressing fatty liver disease and NASH, during treatment for comprehensive diabetes management.

Diabetes can have significant consequences on the liver, both directly and indirectly. The liver plays a critical role in regulating blood sugar levels and metabolizing various nutrients. Here are some of the consequences of diabetes on liver health:

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

NAFLD is a common liver condition that is closely associated with diabetes. It occurs when excess fat accumulates in the liver cells, leading to inflammation and potential liver damage. Insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, can contribute to the development and progression of NAFLD.

Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

NASH is a more severe form of NAFLD characterized by liver inflammation and damage. It can lead to fibrosis (scarring) of the liver, cirrhosis, and, in some cases, liver failure. People with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, are at an increased risk of developing NASH.

Impaired Glucose Regulation

The liver plays a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels. In individuals with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, the liver may produce excessive glucose, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. This can contribute to difficulties in glycemic control.

Increased Risk of Hypoglycemia

In people with diabetes who are on certain medications like sulfonylureas, the liver’s ability to regulate glucose production can be impaired. This can result in a higher risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if these medications are not properly adjusted.

Impaired Lipid Metabolism

Diabetes can affect the way the liver processes lipids (fats), leading to elevated levels of triglycerides and non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL) cholesterol. This can contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which is a common comorbidity in individuals with diabetes.

Risk of Cirrhosis and Liver Failure

Over time, uncontrolled diabetes, especially in combination with other risk factors like obesity and excessive alcohol consumption, can lead to cirrhosis (advanced scarring of the liver) and, in severe cases, liver failure.

Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In individuals with advanced liver disease, such as cirrhosis due to NAFLD or NASH, there is an increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, which is a type of liver cancer.

It’s important for patients with diabetes to manage their insulin resistance and hyperglycemia effectively through lifestyle changes, medication management, and regular medical check-ups. Controlling blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy weight, and addressing other risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol can help reduce the risk of liver complications associated with diabetes. Consulting with a diabetes specialist is key for managing both diabetes and its potential liver consequences.

Dr. Tashko

Dr. Tashko serves as a board-certified specialist in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism, located in Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland. With extensive training and expertise in these fields, Dr. Tashko plays a pivotal role in providing comprehensive medical care to patients grappling with endocrine disorders, diabetes, and metabolic conditions. Their dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in medical research and treatment options equips them to offer the highest standard of care. Patients who seek Dr. Tashko's expertise benefit from their in-depth understanding of the intricate hormonal systems regulating various bodily functions. Dr. Tashko works collaboratively with patients to diagnose, manage, and treat a diverse range of conditions, including thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances, and diabetes complications. Their compassionate approach, coupled with their ability to explain complex medical concepts in simple terms, fosters a strong patient-doctor relationship. Dr. Tashko's practice goes beyond symptom management; they emphasize patient education and empowerment, enabling individuals to actively participate in their healthcare journey. By tailoring treatment plans to each patient's unique needs, lifestyle, and preferences, Dr. Tashko ensures a holistic and patient-centered approach to care. Their commitment to improving patients' quality of life and overall well-being is evident in their personalized and empathetic approach to medicine. In Rockville, Montgomery County, Maryland, Dr. Tashko stands out as a respected endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism specialist who combines medical excellence with a patient-centric philosophy. Their unwavering dedication to advancing the field and delivering compassionate care cements their role as a trusted expert in the community.