I Have Type-2 Diabetes And I’ve Been Told To Lose Weight
A healthy lifestyle not only paves the way for a brighter future but can also help you enjoy the day-to-day more too. Increasingly, weight has a big part to play in this – especially if you have a condition like Type 2 Diabetes. There are lots of benefits to dropping some weight if you have Type 2 Diabetes and among these is avoiding developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – or even reversing this condition if you already have it.
Who is at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?
NAFLD affects those who live with obesity or already have Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) – anyone who is overweight and also has this type of diabetes could be at risk. Approximately 70% of those with T2D will also have fatty liver. Understanding your liver helps you change your lifestyle and measure your health more effectively.
What is NAFLD?
It is caused by a buildup of excess lipids in liver cells that is not the result of excessive alcohol consumption. Our liver normally contains some fat, but when this increases to more than 5% of the weight of the liver, then it’s called NAFLD. If you are diagnosed with NAFLD and don’t take any action to try and reverse it, the condition may gradually get worse over time. So, if you find yourself with a diagnosis of NAFLD then anything that you can do to help improve the situation will be important.
Does weight loss reverse NAFLD?
Yes. If you have Type 2 Diabetes and you’ve been told to lose weight, it may well be to help reverse the impact of NAFLD. Researchers have found that losing weight can help to improve liver status. People who take part in a structured weight loss programme and are able to achieve a significant degree of weight loss can expect to see an improvement in liver tests such as ALT and other markers of liver health, including Fibroscan. Now we can measure liver fat loss more easily. Although the reason for this improvement in liver health is not known for certain, it’s thought that weight loss improves the control of blood sugar levels in the body and helps to improve insulin resistance issues for many.
How to approach weight loss if you have Type 2 Diabetes
- Keep reminding yourself why this is worth it – if NAFLD gets worse, it can progress to – non-alcoholic 25% of people with this have scarring of the liver. Losing just 10% of your current body weight will start to make a difference.
- Review your meals and move towards a more Mediterranean diet or even plant-based or less red meat diets- unprocessed food, fresh fruit and veg and only nuts and olive oil as a fat source.
- Exercise regularly (usually 10,000-15,000 steps per day).
- Drink less alcohol and avoid food and drink that is naturally high in fructose or contains a lot of added sugar.
Taking back control of your diet and lifestyle can be very empowering – and is vital if you have Type 2 Diabetes and you’ve been told to lose weight.