November 14, 2023 – World Diabetes Day, celebrated annually on November 14th, is a day dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes and promoting better understanding of the condition. This year, LiverScan would like to focus on the link between Type 2 Diabetes and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), two conditions that are increasingly intertwined and pose a growing health threat.
Type 2 Diabetes, characterised by the body’s inability to regulate blood sugar effectively, affects millions of people around the globe. Meanwhile, NAFLD, a condition where excess fat accumulates in the liver of individuals who consume little to no alcohol, has been steadily on the rise.
Research over the years has unveiled a strong connection between these two conditions. It has become increasingly evident that NAFLD can often be a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes. NAFLD can progress to Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), a more severe form of the disease, which can increase the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Conversely, individuals with Type 2 Diabetes are more susceptible to NAFLD.
One of the key factors linking the two conditions is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, and when the body becomes resistant to its effects, it can lead to high blood sugar and the development of Type 2 Diabetes. This insulin resistance can also affect the liver, leading to the accumulation of fat in liver cells, a hallmark of NAFLD. In addition to insulin resistance, shared risk factors such as obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and genetics contribute to the overlapping occurrence of Type 2 Diabetes and NAFLD.
While the connection between Type 2 Diabetes and NAFLD presents significant health challenges, raising awareness and taking proactive measures can help combat these conditions and reduce their impact on global health. Early detection is key in both conditions and lifestyle interventions can reverse them.
This World Diabetes Day, we would like to encourage individuals to take control of their health and join the fight against these two interconnected health issues. You can book in for your liver health consultation here.