The liver manufactures as well as stores glucose depending up on the body’s requirement for it. The need to release or store glucose is chiefly governed by hormones insulin and glucagon. During a meal, the liver stores glucose as glycogen for a later time when your body will need it, like in between meals and overnight.
The liver handles a huge range of vital functions and tasks, including – synthesizing and storing glucose, digesting of the fats, and functioning as the body’s detox hub.
After a meal, the level of blood glucose tends to rise; in those who do not have diabetes mellitus, the pancreas will release insulin in to the blood. Consequently, your body absorbs glucose from the blood and the cells use the glucose to generate energy for various functions.
When levels of glucose are high in the blood, the liver will respond to insulin by absorbing glucose. It then converts glucose in to glycogen which fills up the liver cells; thus the liver works like a storehouse for all the surplus glucose.
When blood glucose levels reduce, insulin release drops too. Low levels of insulin in the blood signal to the liver to send the stored glucose back in to the blood to keep the body nourished in between meals.
In those having diabetes mellitus, on the other hand, the liver cannot process and manufacture glucose normally as it should, thereby adding to the difficulty of blood glucose control.
The liver cannot directly perceive blood glucose levels; it only knows what the hormone insulin tells it. Hence, when there is a deficiency of insulin (like in diabetes mellitus), or in case of a liver disease, the liver will assume that the body requires more glucose, in spite of the fact that blood glucose levels are high.
Chronic liver damage such as cirrhosis causes the normal liver tissue to get totally replaced by non functioning scar tissue. Those who have severe liver disorders are glucose intolerant, and many develop diabetes mellitus. Liver cirrhosis occurs due to alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease hemochromatosis or chronic hepatitis C infection.
Causes Of High Blood Sugar Levels In Liver Disease
When the liver gets impaired / damaged, little insulin is taken up and degraded, thereby resulting in a condition of chronic hyperinsulinemia. Hyperinsulinemia in those who have liver cirrhosis causes muscle insulin resistance. In people who have an impaired functioning of the liver, glucose does not get effectively removed from the blood by muscle tissue, leading to a persistent rise of blood glucose levels.
When the liver becomes less sensitive to hormone insulin, it can no longer get rid of the surplus glucose from the blood or convert the glucose into glycogen for storage. Consequently, glucose levels in the blood are higher, more so after a meal.
Chronic insulin resistance and the resulting high levels of circulating glucose and fats wipe out the insulin releasing cells, called islets, in the pancreas eventually. Overt diabetes mellitus develops wherein insulin levels are inadequate to help govern normal glucose metabolism.