What’s the Link Between Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes?


Estimated reading time: 0 minutes

Diabetes increases the risk of a variety of problems, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Excess fat accumulates in the liver in this syndrome. NAFLD affects around 24% of adults in the United States. However, the estimates for persons who have both obesity and type 2 diabetes are larger than 70%.

This article will look into the connection between fatty liver disease and diabetes, if one condition affects the other, and how they might be properly handled.

What is fatty liver disease? 

NAFLD is also known as fatty liver disease or hepatic steatosis. It is characterized as the accumulation of extra fat in the liver. This type of liver disease is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption, as the name implies.

NAFLD is growing more prevalent in Western countries, particularly the United States. NAFLD is one of the most common types of liver disease in the United States.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, up to two-thirds of patients with type 2 diabetes have NAFLD. With the prevalence of type 1 diabetes rising across the country, the prevalence of NAFLD is predicted to climb as wellTrusted Source. 

This is due to the rising prevalence of T1D and the associated risk factors for the following:


blood pressure that is too high

Chronic hypertension, which is more common in diabetics Some persons with NAFLD may develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It is a severe variant of NAFLD characterized by inflammation and fat accumulation in the liver.

NASH can lead to liver scarring and damage (cirrhosis) as well as liver failure, which can be fatal.

What are the causes of fatty liver in diabetics?

Overweight or obesity is the leading cause of NAFLD in diabetics. Weight loss is one method for slowing or stopping the growth of NAFLD.

According to studies, dropping merely 7% to 10% of your body weight is the most effective strategy to accomplish long-term weight loss. This can be accomplished through regular physical activity and calorie restriction.

Consumption of high fructose corn syrup is also linked to the development of NAFLD. Limiting or eliminating high-sugar foods and beverages, such as processed foods and sodas, can also help prevent or reduce the growth of NAFLD.

People with high blood pressure and cholesterol are also at risk for NAFLD. Some studies have linked taking statins to improved liver function and fewer cardiovascular events if you have NAFLD that has advanced to NASH. According to the research, the statin-related benefits are exclusive to persons who do not have any liver abnormalities after three years.

What are the symptoms of fatty liver disease?

NAFLD frequently has no symptoms until it has moved to the severe stages (cirrhosis or liver failure).

Advanced liver disease symptoms include:

nausea and weight loss

appetite loss

Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.

abdomen and legs swollen

mental disorientation, acute weariness, and muscular weakness

If you have any of these symptoms and are at risk for NAFLD, see your doctor for further testing.

NAFLD risk factors include:

blood pressure that is too high

high cholesterol, being overweight or obese

diabetes type 2

What effect does fatty liver have on blood sugar levels?

NAFLD may not have an immediate impact on your daily life, but it can deteriorate with time. Having high blood glucose levels, such as if you have diabetes, is one cause.

The average 3-month blood glucose levels of persons with NAFLD influenced their chance of developing more severe cirrhosis, which can lead to liver failure, according to.

According to a 2019 study, NAFLD can cause glucose overproduction, resulting in insulin resistance and abnormal blood sugar levels. This can progress to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes over time.

In conclusion, while NAFLD and diabetes are not related, they can exacerbate each other and make both disorders more difficult to control.

Is there a diabetic and fatty liver disease diet?

There is no single diet that can treat both diabetes and NAFLD. Instead, one goal is to shed and control weight in order to delay the course of both illnesses.

Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is one method to manage your weight. One method is to eat whole foods.

Consider including more of the following foods in your diet:

veggies and fruits

lentils and legumes lean proteins such as chicken, white fish, and turkey

complete grains

Extra-virgin olive oil, seeds, and nuts are examples of healthful fats.

It is critical to stop smoking or drinking alcohol. It can be difficult to quit smoking and drinking, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your doctor can assist you in developing a quit plan that is tailored to your specific requirements.

Doctors also recommend limiting or eliminating foods high in saturated fats and sugar, such as:

cookies and cakes

other sweets than ice cream

Is it possible to reverse fatty liver disease if you have type 2 diabetes?

NAFLD cannot be reversed with medicines. Certain lifestyle measures, however, can help limit its spread and, in some cases, reverse its damage. 

These are some examples:

controlling your weight

boosting your physical activity by eating a balanced, nutritional diet

controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol

To notice effects in the liver, most healthcare specialists advocate decreasing 3% to 5% of your body weight. However, it is critical to lose weight in a healthy way. Rapid weight reduction may worsen NAFLD, therefore aim for no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week.

One pilot research conducted in 2014 If you have diabetes and NAFLD, a trusted source in Japan suggests using a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) mimic to help with weight loss.

According to a 2013 studyTrusted Source, using thiazolidinediones, a type 2 diabetes medication, may be advantageous for those who also have NAFLD. These drugs aid in the reduction of insulin resistance and may result in weight loss.

A 2014 study found thatIf you have NAFLD and type 2 diabetes, dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors may be advantageous because they can lead to:

slimming down

lower body mass index (BMI)

HbA1c readings have improved.

Taking these strategies in the early stages of NAFLD can help you avoid permanent liver damage.


Up to two-thirds of persons with type 2 diabetes are affected with NAFLD. NAFLD frequently has no symptoms in the early stages, but if not treated, it can progress to liver failure.

Higher blood sugar levels can also make NAFLD more difficult to cure, while NAFLD can raise blood sugar levels.

Weight loss is the most effective treatment for NAFLD. Eating a well-balanced diet and increasing your physical activity will help you manage your weight.

You may also wish to discuss with your doctor the possibility of taking drugs to help you lose weight and improve insulin sensitivity, such as GLP-1 analogs, thiazolidinediones, or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors.

NAFLD, if left untreated, can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a severe variant of NAFLD. It can potentially lead to cirrhosis and liver failure, which can be fatal.


Know More About Ayurveda Diabetes Reversal.

Share this article

Recent posts

Google search engine

Popular categories

Recent comments