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Testing for a Fatty Liver

A sonogram of your liver will show how much fat you store in your liver. This simple and safe test will show if you have diabetes or are headed for diabetes. A study of 12,454 North Americans showed that 22 percent had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which means that they have too much fat stored in their liver (Am J Epidemiol, July, 2013;178(1):38-45). Alcohol is the second most common cause of liver damage. The most common cause is an unhealthy lifestyle that affects more than 32 million North Americans who eat too much and exercise too little. Excess calories stored as fat in the liver causes people to become diabetic or pre-diabetic.

Your Liver Controls Your Blood Sugar
When blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream and insulin lowers blood sugar levels by driving sugar from your bloodstream into your liver. Excess fat in your liver prevents the sugar from entering your liver and instead, the extra fat in your liver causes the liver to release sugar from its cells to drive blood sugar levels even higher.

Your body can store only a very limited amount of sugar and an almost infinite amount of fat. All excess sugar is eventually converted to fat and excess fat is stored in many tissues. In the liver, excess fat prevents the liver from responding to insulin to cause diabetes.

How a High Rise in Blood Sugar Can Damage Every Cell in Your Body
A high rise in blood sugar can cause sugar to stick to the outside membranes of every cell in your body. Once there, it can never get off. It is converted by a series of chemical reactions to sorbitol that destroys the cell to cause all the side effects of diabetes: heart attacks, strokes, dementia, blindness, deafness, kidney damage, impotence, infertility, and so forth.

How You Can Tell People Are Diabetic Just by Looking at Them
People who store a lot of fat in their livers also store a lot of fat underneath the skin in their bellies. Almost all people who have big bellies and small buttocks are diabetic or prediabetic. People who have excess fat stored in both their buttocks and their bellies are less likely to be diabetic.

If you have a protruding belly and small buttocks, go to your doctor and ask to be checked for diabetes. He or she may order a sonogram of your liver, or a glucose tolerance test in which your blood is drawn two hours after you eat or take in a specific sugar load. If you have a blood sugar level above 120 milligrams per deciliter two hours after you eat, you are either prediabetic or diabetic (Clinical Diabetes, April 2002).

Type II iabetes is a usually a curable disease. If you allow your blood sugar levels to remain high, expect to suffer eventual damage to cells throughout your body. See Treatment of Diabetes and Exciting New Research to Prevent and Treat Diabetes

Checked 5/1/17

October 19th, 2014
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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