World liver day is observed on April 19 every year, to spread awareness about liver-related diseases.
It is the second-largest and the most complex organ in the body, except the brain. It is a key player in your body’s digestive system.
Role of Liver in Managing Blood Sugar Levels
The liver both stores and produces sugar…
It acts as the body’s glucose (or fuel) reservoir and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant. The liver both stores and manufactures glucose depending on the body’s needs. The need to store or release glucose is primarily signaled by the hormones insulin and glucagon.
During a meal, your liver will store sugar, or glucose, as glycogen for a later time when your body needs it. The high levels of insulin and suppressed levels of glucagon during a meal promote the storage of glucose as glycogen.
The liver makes sugar when you need it….
When you’re not eating – especially overnight or between meals, the body has to make its own sugar. The liver supplies sugar or glucose by turning glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. The liver also can manufacture necessary sugar or glucose by harvesting amino acids, waste products, and fat byproducts. This process is called gluconeogenesis.
The organ also makes another fuel, ketones, when sugar is in short supply….
When your body’s glycogen storage is running low, the body starts to conserve the sugar supplies for the organs that always require sugar. These include the brain, red blood cells, and parts of the kidney. To supplement the limited sugar supply, the liver makes alternative fuels called ketones from fats. This process is called ketogenesis. The hormone signal for ketogenesis to begin is a low level of insulin. Ketones are burned as fuel by muscle and other body organs. And the sugar is saved for the organs that need it.
How to take care of your liver when you have diabetes
- Manage your blood sugar levels by eating nutritious food and avoiding junk, processed sugary and canned food.
- Limit the intake of colas, sodas, fruit juices, sweets, bakery items, and candies.
- Eat at regular intervals in the quantity recommended by the expert.
- Whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables should be a part of your daily diet, exercise every day for about half an hour.
- You can do activities such as swimming, cycling, yoga, gymming, aerobics, running or jogging.
- Cut down on sodium and caffeine to keep high blood pressure in check.
- Say NO to smoking and alcohol.
- Get yourself screened as suggested by the doctor to catch the liver disease.