"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Diabetes Association updates guidelines on liver disease prevention

June 26, 2023 – The American Diabetes Association has updated its guidelines to now call for increased screening for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in all adults with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

About 70% of individuals with type 2 diabetes have liver disease, which ADA said in a press releaseNAFLD is essentially the most common form.

NAFLD, which incorporates nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), can result in cirrhosis and liver cancer and is related to an increased risk of heart problems and death, the ADA said within the press release.

“Liver disease is increasingly recognized as a major complication of diabetes,” said Dr. Robert Gabbay, ADA's chief scientific and medical officer. “The ADA is committed to preventing and curing diabetes, a complex chronic disease that requires ongoing medical care. For more than 30 years, the ADA has been actively involved in developing clinical practice recommendations that physicians, researchers, health insurers, policymakers and others can rely on for diabetes care.”

In addition to early detection, the update also highlights options for treating patients with liver disease.

Adults who're chubby or obese and have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and NAFLD should consider treatments that include lifestyle changes, weight reduction and exercise programs, the ADA said, based on an article concerning the guidelines in HPC News. Medications may additionally be helpful.

The ADA update also endorsed using teplizumab (Tzield) to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes. HPC News reportedLast November, the FDA approved the drug as the first treatment to delay the onset of insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes.