Leveraging Digital Health Innovation to Reduce the Risk of Liver Disease in People with Type 2 Diabetes
As T2D (type 2 diabetes) and liver disease rates rise, increased risks of cirrhosis, liver cancers, and other ailments loom. But to combat such severe health threats, digital health innovation can be a game-changer.
By embracing emerging trends in healthcare tech, we can mitigate these chronic illnesses’ risks and help countless people with T2D manage their conditions. Let’s dive deep into how this unique, cutting-edge approach can improve patient outcomes and prevent liver diseases.
Type 2 Diabetes and NAFLD
Type 2 diabetes is a type of health condition that indicates an irregularity in how the body handles glucose metabolism (sugar). With this health condition, the body risks getting liver diseases. Some of the liver conditions type 2 diabetes patients can be exposed to are:
- Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
- Severe liver scarring
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
Of all the liver conditions mentioned above, type 2 diabetes patients are more at risk of Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Contrary to common misconception, NAFLD in diabetic patients is not caused by alcohol consumption. According to the University of Florida Health Newsroomscientists believe a metabolic breakdown in the body, such as that seen in type 2 diabetes, results in the release of fatty acids into the blood, ultimately accumulating in a ready receptacle — the liver.
Diabetes patients must look out for NAFLD because although it shows no symptoms, it can increase the risk of other health problems like cirrhosis or, even more severe, liver cancer. Healthline attests that it’s possible to develop NAFLD with type 2 diabetes, even if you rarely drink alcohol.
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Digital Health Strategies Adopted by Care Providers to Mitigate the Risk of Liver Disease in Type 2 Diabetes
As healthcare providers continue to navigate the complex landscape of managing Type 2 Diabetes, the risk of liver disease looms large as a potential complication. In order to mitigate this risk, digital health strategies have been increasingly adopted by care providers. These strategies encompass a range of technologies such as mobile applications and wearable devices, among others.
These technologies allow patients to monitor their blood glucose levels, manage medications, and track their daily activity. In addition, care providers can monitor their patients’ progress, learn about their risk factors, and provide timely guidance to prevent the occurrence of liver disease.
With these digital health strategies, care providers can tailor their care to their patients’ needs, allowing for more proactive and personalized care. As the prevalence of T2DM continues to rise, the use of digital health strategies has become an essential tool for care providers to help prevent the onset of liver disease in their patients.
Digital Technologies and Early Liver Disease Detection: How It’s Done?
Liver disease might not show early symptoms. Sometimes, it is not discovered until a liver blood test is carried out. This test, known as the liver function test, is used to help diagnose and monitor liver disease or damage. NAFLD mostly shows no symptoms, so doctors need to run tests to determine its presence. To make early diagnosis easier, however, care providers use certain technological advancements which integrate AI technologies. AI integration is now being used to process huge chunks of data for more accurate results.
The transformation of disease detection due to digitalization and pioneering technologies has resulted in improved prognoses for patients. This new era in liver screening, for example, is being powered by digital algorithms that determine the likelihood of patients needing further testing for early-stage diagnosis. Although current ultrasound examinations have a sensitivity of only 45%, combining them with protein-level blood tests can increase the detection of early-stage liver disease, such as liver cancer, by 18%.
Moreover, by combining additional blood tests with age and gender in an algorithm, physicians can determine if their patient requires further testing for diagnosis. This highlights the promise of digital diagnostics in not only improving patient outcomes but also potentially reducing healthcare system burdens.
Tip to Reduce The Risk Of Liver Disease With Type 2 Diabetes
While regular monitoring is necessary to help lower the risk of potential complications from type 2 diabetes, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting a liver condition linked to it. Below are some of the ways to reduce that risk:
- Watch Your Weight. Losing weight is medically considered the best strategy for reducing the risks of NAFLD. If diets and workouts are ineffective, consult your doctors on the possibility of using weight-loss medications or even having weight-loss surgery.
- Monitor Your Sugar Level. You should work closely with your doctor to manage your blood sugar well. This is one way to prevent NAFLD. Alongside monitoring your sugar level, you should also monitor your blood pressure. To keep your blood pressure within a safe range, you can reduce the consumption of sodium and caffeinated foods and reduce or stop smoking.
- Consume A Balanced Diet. To manage diabetes and reduce your risks of liver disease, your doctor might recommend changing your diet. You will be discouraged from consuming certain kinds of food including fatty, salty, and sugary meals.
- Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise is another lifestyle type 2 diabetic patients must adopt. Based on your doctor’s recommendations, exercise as many times as possible.
- Reduce Or Stop Alcohol Consumption. Excessive consumption of alcohol is equal to welcoming liver disease. You should consult your primary care provider on what limit is best for you.
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Guard Your Health
In conclusion, digital health innovation offers a powerful opportunity to reduce the risks of liver disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Leveraging technology can help patients manage their condition more effectively and efficiently, helping them reach their health goals in an optimal way.
By implementing digital interventions such as tracking of lifestyle behaviors, nutrition coaching, remote monitoring, and support systems in our healthcare system, individuals with type 2 diabetes can take greater control over their liver health while also gaining a better understanding of their condition and how to best prevent it. It’s an exciting time in digital health care – let’s make sure we take advantage of all the tools available to us to create healthier futures for everyone.
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