Diabetes Drugs and Your Liver

Recently, we discussed the dangers associated with taking wrongly labeled dietary supplements — especially, the potential for harm to your liver. But liver health isn’t only a concern for people who take nutritional supplements. As a recent research shows, certain diabetes drugs may worsen or improve liver-related results, together with dramatic impacts on longevity and your health.

The study, presented in October in The Biology Meeting 2017 at Washington, DC, included at 458 people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). As mentioned in a Medscapearticle on the study, it is estimated that about 58 percent of people with Type two diabetes have this ailment. Out of the study’s participants, 305 had Type 2 diabetes, while 153 didn’t have diabetes. Researchers were interested in studying which medication therapies the people with diabetes were taking, and comparing different drugs with liver-related results.

Throughout the study’s follow-up period of almost six decades, there were 84 deaths or liver transplants, combined with 90 cases of hepatic decompensation (a serious form of liver disease) and 42 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (the most frequent form of liver cancer). Just 6 deaths were not associated with liver disease. Individuals with diabetes were more likely to expire without diabetes, and to develop severe liver disease and cancer. But not in an equal speed — those who took were less likely to die or require a transplant, with an estimated risk reduction of 67% after adjusting for HbA1c level (a measure of long-term blood control) and other factors that could influence these results.

In contrast, participants who obtained — a family of diabetes medication which includes glipizide (brand name Glucotrol), glyburide (Micronase, Glynase PresTabs, and DiaBeta), and glimepiride (Amaryl) — were estimated to be approximately five times as likely to die or require a transplant consequently. Taking wasn’t associated with any alteration in results.

The main lesson from this study, based on its investigators, was that having diabetes makes liver-related results worse if you’ve NAFLD. But in addition, it showed that what medication you choose for your diabetes might have an effect on those outcomes, increasing or lowering your elevated risk of liver disorder, needing a liver transplant, or death.

What is your take on this research — do you have NAFLD, or have you ever been told you might have liver disorder? Has your doctor discussed any medication you choose for the diabetes, or for any other condition’s liver-related dangers? Would you be interested in changing your medication treatment to help restrict liver-related dangers, or are there more important considerations for you when it has to do with your diabetes treatment? Leave a comment below!

Want to learn more about liver health? Read “Preventing Fatty Liver Disease” and “Metformin, the Liver, and Diabetes.”

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