Hepatitis in Diabetes

What Happens when You Face Hepatitis along with Diabetes?

There are lots of people who suffer from diabetes. It keeps on increasing every year, but they don’t know what diabetes is or the connection between hepatitis and diabetes. Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which the blood sugar levels become high over a prolonged period. If you don’t take immediate action, it can cause many complications like “nonketotic hyperosmolar coma” and “diabetic ketoacidosis”.

Aside from those two acute complications, diabetes can also cause serious long-term complications like heart disease and stroke, damage of the eyes, and kidney failure.

Diabetes occurs if your pancreas didn’t create enough insulin or if your cells aren’t responding to the insulin which your body produces. There are three types of diabetes mellitus - Type 1 DM, type 2 DM and gestational diabetes. However, the risk of diabetes can be prevented through healthy lifestyle; poor and unhealthy diet isn’t the only cause of this disease. HCV or hepatitis C virus is often associated with diabetes. Hepatitis C or HCV is an infectious disease that affects the liver.  You can acquire hepatitis with the intravenous drug use or transfusion. It spreads to your body through blood-to-blood contact.

People who have diabetes may suffer from chronic hepatitis over time. This is an inflammatory disease that may last for more than six months.

Hepatitis cause liver inflammation and there’s no existing vaccine to prevent hepatitis completely, so, it’s considered dangerous. Because of HCV, the liver can’t perform its functions, which are: to store nutrient and energy in the body and processing of certain food material, prevention of infection, and removal of chemicals found in the bloodstream.

The liver is very important for sugar metabolism and storage and hepatitis can be considered as a threat to your health. HCV can be associated with other diseases like diabetes. Your body will develop diabetes if you are having a problem absorbing glucose (blood sugar), which is the source of body energy that may also affect all the muscles and organs in the body. Since blood sugar is produced through the liver, the connection between diabetes and hepatitis are expected.

How Hepatitis is connected to Diabetes

There are two main ways why hepatitis is connected to diabetes. Diabetes occurs because of chronic hepatitis C and chronic hepatitis start as a short term illnesses that will not last without medication. Because of the chronic HCV the liver will have trouble in getting rid of the excessive blood sugar which will result to hyperglycemia. Treating hepatitis is very crucial. The intervention on blood sugar (glucose) output can cause diabetes.

Diabetic people may develop HCV, and a long-term dysfunction in blood sugar maintenance will add pressure in the liver, and because of this, the liver will suffer from inflammation.

If your liver isn’t working properly, its ability to fight infections like HCV will be difficult and because of diabetes, your liver might store too much sugar in the form of something called glycogen. Insulin intake is recommended for diabetes sufferers, but if you have hepatitis, this will affect your liver metabolism and  will reduce your organs’ resistance to any infections like hepatitis. In preventing or reducing HCV transmission, don’t share needles with other diabetic patient. Blood-to-blood contact is one reason why hepatitis infection spread in your body.

Risks of Acquiring Hepatitis and Diabetes

Bigger risk and complications may arise because of diabetes and HCV, such as advanced liver disease or cirrhosis. Cirrhosis increases the insulin levels in the body which makes it more difficult to manage diabetes. Aside from that, it can also cause liver failure which can be fatal. It’s commonly ordered for severe cirrhosis patients to have liver transplants, but it will be very questionable as far as the long-term effects on diabetes are concerned. The best way to prevent hepatitis and diabetes is to have a regular blood test and blood sugar measurement. Other acute and serious complications associated with health conditions will be prevented. In addition, the diabetic patient should get HCV tested in order to prevent the risk of having hepatitis infection.

Diabetes and hepatitis are two common diseases that have a high impact in people’s health worldwide, and there’s evidence that HCV infection is a risk factor for developing diabetes.

Patients with diabetes will develop a high risk of exposure to HCV infection. However, it’s still not known whether diabetes directly leads to HCV infections or vice versa. The presence of diabetes in your body is strongly associated with more severe liver disease. Regular blood test and blood sugar measurement will be the best preventive measure to avoid any severe and acute complications like hepatitis infection. Diabetes sufferers ought to make sure that they’re not sharing needles with other diabetic people, to avoid hepatitis infection and other complications that could potentially arise during your medication. There are no existing vaccines to prevent hepatitis so, it’s only right that you take preventive measures to avoid further health problems and complications to your health.


White DL, Ratziu V, El-Serag HB. Hepatitis C infection and risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Hepatol. 2008 Nov;49(5):831-44.

Butt AA, Evans R, Skanderson M, Shakil AO. Comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions and substance abuse in HCV infected persons on dialysis. J Hepatol. 2006;44:864–868.

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