Controlling Blood Sugar over Time May Help Decrease the Risk of Liver Disease

For those with fatty liver disease, controlling blood sugar may help to reduce their risk of liver scarring and disease progression. There are currently no approved drugs to treat the condition, so researchers are hopeful that lifestyle interventions could help to decrease some of the more serious side effects.


According to a new study by Duke Health researchers, patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were able to influence their chance of having more severe scarring of the liver by lowering blood glucose levels over three months. This type of scarring can lead to liver failure over time.

Lead author of the study Anastasia-Stefania Alexopoulos, M.B.B.S., said, “Severe liver disease related to fatty liver is on the rise. It’s becoming one of the leading causes of liver transplants and liver mortality. But we don’t have any effective treatments that are FDA approved, so really what it comes down to is finding other things we can do to help lower the risk of fatty liver disease progressing to these really poor outcomes.”

The Study

The study, published in the journal Hepatology, analyzed documented glucose levels of 713 adult patients with fatty liver disease prior to a liver biopsy.

It was found that higher average blood glucose levels in the year leading up to a liver biopsy were associated with more severe swelling of liver cells. Every one percentage point increase in hemoglobin HbA1c in the year before biopsy raised the chances for severe fibrosis by 15%


It was also noted that patients with moderate glucose control over a period of five years had more swelling of liver cells and a higher risk of advanced liver scarring.

Researchers say these findings are significant for patients with diabetes because a significant portion of this population also has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. When health care professionals are thinking of complications of diabetes and blood sugar, it normally includes heart disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Alexopoulos and her team hope that this study helps to get fatty liver disease added to the list. It may also help clinicians reconsider their diabetes treatment approach to include medications known to improve both glucose control and promote weight loss.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.