Beware. If you have fatty liver, you could be inviting diabetes.
In recent years, fatty liver has become more appreciated as a sign of obesity and resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls the body’s glucose levels. This new study shows that fatty liver may be more than an indicator of obesity but may actually have an independent role in the development of type 2 diabetes. People with fatty liver are five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those without. This higher risk seemed to occur regardless of the patient’s fasting insulin levels, which were used as a marker of insulin resistance, as per a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
“Many patients and practitioners view fat in the liver as just ‘fat in the liver,’ but we believe that a diagnosis of fatty liver should raise an alarm for impending type 2 diabetes,” said Sun Kim, MD, of Stanford University in Calif. and senior author of the study. “Our study shows that fatty liver, as diagnosed by ultrasound, strongly predicts the development of type 2 diabetes regardless of insulin concentration.”
The study shows in a large population of relatively healthy individuals that identifying fatty liver by ultrasound predicts the development of type 2 diabetes in five years.
The above story is based on materials provided by The Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.