Diabetes is a health condition wherein the pancreas fails to secrete the right amount of insulin which causes an increase in blood sugar levels. This condition can also gradually alter the functioning of major organ systems of the body. One of the main organs that are affected by diabetes is liver. Many studies have shown that individuals affected by diabetes are at a higher risk of developing liver problems like liver cancer and cirrhosis.
What is Liver Cancer?
It is a form of cancer which affects the liver and the reason why it is a cause of concern is the liver is a very complex organ. It is of two types – Primary liver cancer which originates in the liver itself and secondary liver cancer is cancer that spreads to the liver from another part of the body. Why liver cancer occurs is still a mystery but is strongly linked to inflammation. On the other hand, liver cirrhosis is caused mostly due to excessive intake of alcohol or viral infection like hepatitis B or C.
How is diabetes linked to the higher rate of occurrence of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer?
The common link between them is obesity. Obesity leads to an excess build up of fat inside the liver tissues which in turn leads to diabetes. Another reason why type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of liver cancer is because of the medications that are taken by diabetic patients to control their sugar levels.
Research has found that some of these sugar controlling medicines can inhibit the otherwise normal suppression of cancer in the body. People with type 2 diabetes also tend to develop a health condition called fatty liver disease. In such situations, the liver cannot manage so much of fat cells and gradually starts becoming inflamed. This excessive inflammation in the liver can cause liver cirrhosis, fibrosis (thickening and scarring of liver tissue) and ultimately liver cancer.
With so much research also, scientists are of the opinion that more research needs to be done to 100% ascertain the direct link between liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and type 2 diabetes. This is being done by studying the role of genes in people with type 2 diabetes and liver cancer.
One of the best ways to fight all three diseases is the regular intake of curcumin. The root cause of many diseases is excessive inflammation. Curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory agent which helps to reduce the excessive levels of inflammation.