NAFLD and type-2 diabetes are both lifestyle-related conditions that most often stem from obesity, an unhealthy diet, and/or a lack of physical exercise.
As such, they often occur together.
We know that diabetes increases the likelihood of neuropathy, with pain in the extremities like the hands and feet.
But very little research has been done on the role of NAFLD in the development of neuropathy, a research gap that a team of researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai decided to fill.
They published their study in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.
The researchers recruited 520 type-2 diabetes patients from Fudan University’s associated hospital. They had an average age of 65, and 43.6% of them were men. Their average body mass index was 24.47 kg/m2, which is actually a bit lower than one would expect from a sample of diabetes patients.
They found that 63% of the participants had liver steatosis, which is just a fancy name for NAFLD, while 18.1% had liver fibrosis, which occurs when liver tissue is replaced with useless scar tissue due to liver injury or inflammation.
The participants with NAFLD were more likely to be overweight and also had the highest blood sugar and blood pressure readings. Most of them were women.
Fifty-one percent of the participants had diabetic peripheral neuropathy; these were more likely to be male, have high blood sugar, be overweight, and have high blood pressure.
Regarding the research question, the scientists found enough information to prove their hypothesis:
1. 55.7% of those with NAFLD (liver steatosis) suffered from neuropathy, versus 44.9% of those without NAFLD.
2. 61.5% of patients with liver fibrosis suffered from neuropathy, versus 50.0% without liver fibrosis.
3. Those with liver fibrosis were 2.24 times more likely than those without it to have neuropathy.
4. When the researchers adjusted their results to ensure that age, sex, weight, BMI, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and the duration of diabetes did not influence their findings, they found that NAFLD on its own did not increase their participants’ risk of having neuropathy.
Therefore, liver fibrosis on its own increased the participants’ risk of neuropathy, while NAFLD on its own did not, although NAFLD in combination with diabetes did increase the risk of neuropathy.
Now, if you’re suffering from neuropathy, you’ll want to take the steps explained here to reverse it naturally in a few days…
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