It is well known that diabetes increases the risk of kidney disease, nerve damage, blood vessel damage, infections, blindness and heart disease, but you may not realise diabetes has terrible effects on the liver.
People with insulin resistance have high levels of insulin in their bloodstream. Insulin signals to your liver to manufacture fat, especially triglycerides and cholesterol. This promotes the accumulation of fat inside the liver, inside other organs, inside arteries and as general body fat stores. As insulin levels become higher and higher, insulin loses its ability to control blood sugar levels. Therefore the blood sugar level creeps upwards, eventually getting high enough to qualify as diabetes.
If you have diabetes, you are probably well aware that you require regular blood tests to check on the health of your kidneys and your heart. You probably have regular eye exams and foot examinations; however it is not standard practice to offer diabetics liver exams. This is very unfortunate because there is very little that can be offered to a person who has developed severe liver disease other than liver transplantation.
If either a liver or a kidney function test is elevated, then the next step is to determine what is causing the elevation. It is important to remember that elevated liver or kidney tests are not diagnoses in themselves but rather serve as indicators of abnormal function of these organs.
There are many diseases and conditions that can cause an elevation of these tests. Some of the more common causes are hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) from infectious agents such as viruses and substances such as alcohol. Some common causes of kidney damage include diabetes and high blood pressure. Kidney and liver damage may also be work-related.
Liver and kidney function tests, once documented to be elevated, need to be monitored periodically, depending on the degree of elevation and the overall medical circumstances.