Type 2 diabetes strongly linked to higher risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer

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(NaturalHealth365) People suffering with type 2 diabetes need to seriously consider the health of their liver, according to research out of the UK.  For example, did you know that people with type 2 diabetes have a much higher risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer?

Researchers out of Queen Mary University of London and University of Glasgow conducted a very large study of 82 million European adults. They determined that having the condition of type 2 diabetes is likely an independent risk factor for severe liver problems.  And, these research results were published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Millions of people walk around with a higher risk of liver cancer, and were never told by their doctor

For the study, the researchers set out to determine the risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or steatohepatitis (NASH). NAFLD is a precursor to NASH, which is much more serious and can pave the way for liver cancer.

NAFLD affects over one-fourth of Americans and seems to correlate with the surge in cases of type 2 diabetes and the epidemic of obesity.

Unfortunately, cases of NAFLD tend to go undiagnosed due to a lack of symptoms.  And, get this, the American Liver Foundation reports that NAFLD affects around 100 million people in the U.S.

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Generally speaking, NAFLD develops in people age 40 to 60.  When it progresses to NASH, the liver can swell and become damaged, making it vulnerable to cirrhosis, cancer and liver failure.  Western medicine estimates that about one in six NAFLD sufferers will develop NASH.

For the analysis, the researchers analyzed electronic health records from a large sample of people – 18,782,281 adults from Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.K. From the group, 136,703 had a diagnosis of NASH or NAFLD.  And, they were matched with controls free of liver problems.

People with type 2 diabetes should take extra careful steps to protect liver health

Each were tracked over an average of 3.3 years. The results showed that people with a NAFLD or NASH diagnosis were more likely to have high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes than the controls.

The researchers determined that people with NAFLD or NASH were 3.51 times more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer and 4.73 times more likely to suffer from cirrhosis. Late diagnosis of NAFLD and NASH seemed to be a factor as well.

However, the “strongest independent predictor” of a cirrhosis or liver cancer diagnosis was having type 2 diabetes at the study outset. The researchers concluded that people with diabetes are at a much higher risk for severe, life-threatening liver problems.

They recommend that healthcare providers ought to educate their diabetes patients about the risks, test them accordingly and offer lifestyle advice to help reduce their risk.

Weight loss, regular exercise and taking milk thistle, zinc, cod liver oil, vitamin D3/K2 and CoQ10 can all help to preserve and protect liver health.  For the next step: consult with a qualified, integrative healthcare provider for specific recommendations.

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Sources for this article include:

MedicalNewsToday.com
NaturalHealth365.com