Fatty Liver and hepatitis are not good partners
The hepatitis C virus has been shown to cause insulin resistance which, along with obesity, causes a worse outcome for those infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Moreover, insulin resistance causes a poorer response to drug therapy against the HCV.
So what is insulin resistance?
This is the term that describes the fact that your body’s cells do not respond to the hormone insulin. It is also known as the metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X. If your insulin is not working well to control your blood sugar levels and fat metabolism, your pancreas gland will respond by making more and more insulin to compensate.
It is like having a team of lazy builders working on a building – the lazier the workers are, the more workers you need to hire to compensate for this; otherwise the building will never materialize!
So what do high insulin levels mean?
They mean easy weight gain and a ravenous appetite.
Yes, insulin is a powerful fat storing hormone and it directs your body to store fat in the liver and the rest of your body. Thus you will keep gaining weight, especially if you eat a lot of carbohydrates such as sugar and grains. If your insulin becomes increasingly ineffective you will not only become overweight you will probably become a type 2 diabetic as your blood sugar levels continue to rise.
It’s a catch 22 . . .
The HCV leads to insulin resistance which leads to fatty liver. The fatty liver leads to more liver inflammation and a higher risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. More liver inflammation makes it easier for the HCV to damage your liver and aggravates the insulin resistance.
So we must break the cycle and this is not hard to do if you understand how to get your insulin levels down. We can achieve this with –
- Regular exercise
- Avoiding sugar in the diet, except for the sugars found in fresh fruits.
- Avoiding sweet sodas and diet drinks
- Eating more protein from eggs, cheese, plain yogurt, lean meats, seafood, poultry, lentils, nuts and seeds (ground flaxseeds, hemp seeds, tahina, pumpkin seeds)
- Eating more vegetables and fresh green leafy herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley and mint
- We can support our insulin function with more dietary magnesium, which is found in dark green leafy vegetables and by taking a supplement of magnesium daily. Poor soil qualities have made mineral deficiencies very common and deficiencies of magnesium, chromium, iodine and selenium will aggravate insulin resistance.
- Glicemic Balance capsules have been designed to support healthy insulin and sugar metabolism and contain bitter melon, gymnema, chromium, lipoic acid and carnitine.
It is not hard to achieve a good outcome as the liver responds well to nutritional medicine and we have many excellent testimonials.
New research has shown that obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are associated with a poorer outlook for those with chronic infection with the HCV. This means a more rapid progression to cirrhosis, increased risk of liver cancer and worse outcomes after liver transplant. Thus you can see that it is extremely worthwhile to reverse insulin resistance and to repair a fatty liver.
For more information see my book Fatty Liver – You Can Reverse It.
Also, I am happy to provide my highly informative eBook Hepatitis – How to treat it naturally totally free for you to download.
If you have any questions please email us or phone our naturopaths on 623 334 3232
Ohki T, et al. Obesity is an independent risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma development in chronic hepatitis C patients. Clinincal Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008;6: 459-464
Hung CH, et al. Insulin resistance is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in chronic hepatitis C infection. World J Gastroenterol 2010; 16: 2265
Ortiz V et al. Contribution of obesity to hepatitis C- related fibrosis progression. Am J Gastroenterol 2002; 97: 2408