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Liver Health and Blood Sugar Levels are Connected

How are Liver Health and Blood Sugar Levels Connected

A healthy liver is critical to maintaining and regulating healthy blood sugar levels. Many people only think of the liver as a detoxifier, but the liver truly is your powerhouse organ. 

Responsible for over 500 functions, along with regulating your blood sugar levels, a healthy liver is essential to metabolizing carbohydrates and fats, removing toxins from your bloodstream, building muscle, and absorbing medication. 

It’s important to remember a healthy body and mind depends on taking a whole-body approach to your health. When your liver is overworked or unhealthy, your immune system is weakened, your metabolism slows, your hormones are impacted, and your blood sugar levels can become irregular.

In this blog we give you the facts and background you need to understand the connection between having a healthy liver and stable blood sugar levels:

  • How the liver keeps you healthy: learn what the liver does and why it’s essential to your health.
  • What is blood sugar: we explain the facts around blood sugar or glucose.
  • Why your blood sugar levels are important: many people think blood sugar levels only matter for diabetics – we dispel this myth and explain how blood sugar impacts your day-to-day.
  • The connection between your liver health and blood sugar levels: learn how your liver works to regulate your blood sugar levels and the implications of an unhealthy liver on your blood sugar.
  • Exercise, food, your liver, and blood sugar: get 7 strategies for maintaining a healthy liver and normal blood sugar levels with exercise and food.

Our goal with these blogs and articles is to keep you informed about health, wellness, well-being, and your whole-body health. 

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How the Liver Keeps You Healthy

The liver keeps you healthy by constantly working in the background 24/7, performing over 500 vital functions in your body.

We are not exaggerating when we write that the liver is your workhorse and powerhouse organ! Consider what the Canadian Liver Foundation says about your liver:

Your liver is your power source. It helps digest your food and turns it into energy. By converting proteins, carbohydrates, fat, and vitamins into energy, the liver ensures your body has what it needs to keep going. Your liver is your engine. It drives many of your body’s critical systems and when it breaks down, your body will too. Your liver is your pharmacist. It must process all medications, vitamins, or herbal remedies you take before they can take effect. Mixing or overdosing medications can damage this vital organ.

The Canadian Liver Foundation emphasizes these 7 critical liver functions to explain why maintaining a healthy liver is vital to your whole-body health:

  1. Cleanses your blood: metabolizing alcohol and destroying poisonous substances.
  2. Regulates your supply of body fuel: producing, storing and supplying quick energy (glucose) to keep your mind alert and your body active. It produces, stores, and exports fat.
  3. Manufactures many of your essential body proteins involved in: transporting substances in your blood, clotting of your blood, and providing resistance to infections.
  4. Regulates the balance of hormones: including sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisone, and other adrenal hormones.
  5. Regulates your body’s cholesterol: producing cholesterol, excreting it, and converting it to other essential substances. 
  6. Regulates your supply of essential vitamins and minerals: including iron and copper.
  7. Produces bile: eliminating toxic substances from your body and aiding with your digestion.

Bottom line – we do not want you to take your liver health for granted.

What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar is a key energy source, helping to deliver nutrients to your muscles, nervous system, and organs. Blood sugar is often called glucose. The production and absorption of blood sugar is a complicated process regulated by your pancreas, liver, and small intestine.

The foods and beverages you consume are your blood sugar source. Your blood sugar levels fluctuate based on what you eat and when you eat it. 

Foods that are high in fast-acting carbohydrates or sugars (white rice, soda, candy, etc.) cause your blood sugar levels to spike, giving you a temporary energy boost. 

Slow-acting carbohydrates or sugars (whole grains, quinoa, large flake oatmeal, sweet potatoes, etc.) give you a more balanced energy boost, helping to give you consistent energy so you can prevent energy highs and lows. 

Why are Blood Sugar Levels Important?

Your blood sugar levels are important because consistently high or low blood sugar levels can lead to serious health implications and conditions. 

Abnormal blood sugar levels can lead to a range of health conditions and diseases including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar
  • Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Immune system impairment
  • Seizures
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood vessel and kidney issues
  • Vision problems

High blood sugar or hyperglycemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough insulin or when your body is not able to use insulin correctly. This can be caused by eating too many high-carbohydrate foods, not exercising and being inactive, dehydration, low insulin, medication side effects, or fluctuating hormone levels.

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar levels are below the recommended range. Low blood sugar can be caused by not eating enough calories or too many foods low in carbohydrates, skipping meals and snacks, drinking alcohol – particularly on an empty stomach, medication side effects, too much insulin, or by doing more exercise than normal – causing you to use up your stored energy. 

Consistent blood sugar levels make it easier for your body to:

  • Absorb nutrients from food
  • Help protect you from disease and illness
  • Maintain consistent all-day energy levels
  • Metabolize the foods you eat properly so you can maintain a healthy weight

The Connection Between Your Liver and Your Blood Sugar Levels

This explanation from is the best way to clearly explain the connection between your liver and your blood sugar levels:

Glucose is the key source of energy for the human body. Supply of this vital nutrient is carried through the bloodstream to many of the body’s cells. The liver produces, stores, and releases glucose depending on the body’s need for glucose, a monosaccharide. This is primarily indicated by the hormones insulin – the main regulator of sugar in the blood – and glucagon. In fact, the liver acts as the body’s glucose reservoir and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant.

When your liver detects irregular glucose or blood sugar levels, it goes to work to try to regulate your blood sugar. It’s important to remember that your brain, red blood cells, and parts of your kidney always require sugar. Fortunately, your liver is very intelligent and can create fuel or sugar for your body from stored glucose (glycogenolysis), using amino acids, waste products, and fat byproducts (gluconeogenesis), or from fats normally used by your muscles for energy (ketogenesis). 

But ideally, you do not want your liver to resort to these methods of finding, converting, and producing blood sugar. Doing so, can cause other health implications, and should be avoided. 

As an extra challenge for your liver, we know that having a fatty liver can impair the liver’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Too much fat in the liver makes it difficult for the liver to respond to insulin, leaving too much glucose (sugar) in the blood, which can result in type 2 diabetes.

For people with fatty liver disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD), it’s extremely important to take steps to restore and heal your liver. The good news is you can heal your liver and restore live health by making some balanced and healthy lifestyle changes.

Exercise, Food, Your Liver and Blood Sugar

What you eat and drink and how much you exercise have direct impacts on your liver health and blood sugar regulation. Too many high carbohydrate, processed, or high-calorie foods wreak havoc on your liver health, making it difficult to correctly stabilize your blood sugar.

Read and remember this key paragraph from the American Diabetes Association:

When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into your blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use.

However, many of us do not exercise. And this means the stored energy builds up and is converted to fat, which leads to belly fat, obesity, NAFLD, fatty liver, blood sugar spikes, type 2 diabetes, and more. 

And this is exactly why you need to make a real effort to incorporate healthy eating and exercise habits into your daily routine. These 7 strategies can make it easier to you make the lifestyle changes required to maintain a healthy liver and stable blood sugar levels:

  1. Incorporate moderate physical activity to your daily routine
    Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, five times a week. For example, add a walk to your lunch routine, join a yoga class, go for bike rides with your family members, start swimming, or lift weights. This exercise is critical for burning fat, building lean muscle mass, helping your body use the blood sugar or energy created by food, and for stress relief. 

  2. Change the types of carbohydrates you eat.
    Many of us eat to many fast-acting carbohydrate foods and beverages. These fast-acting carbohydrates provide an instant energy spike but ultimately cause an energy low. We respond by reaching for another sugary food to give us energy, and the cycle repeats itself. Many people get into a constant energy up/down cycle because they’re eating too many fast-acting carbohydrates. 

  3. Replace fast-acting carbohydrates with slow-acting carbohydrates.
    Fast-acting carbohydrates include foods like white rice, bread, candy, soda, and packaged breakfast cereals. Swap these foods for slow-acting carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grain bread and pasta, large flake oats, whole fruits, and vegetables. Not only do these foods help prevent blood sugar spikes, they are typically lower in fat and deliver more balanced nutrition, ensuring your liver is getting the nutrients it needs without an overload of toxins, sugar, and fat. 

  4. Focus on fiber
    Fiber is essential for good digestion, slowing sugar absorption, and a healthy diet. A high-fiber diet makes you feel full, helping you to manage your appetite without overeating and regulates your blood sugar. The good news is slow-acting carbohydrates are high in fiber. Try to add foods such as broccoli, beans, lentils, large flake oats, berries, avocadoes, apples, pears, and nuts to your daily diet. 

  5. Limit your alcohol intake
    Alcohol is very damaging for your liver. When your liver filters and processes alcohol, liver cells are damaged and die. This causes scarring or cirrhosis of the liver. Over time this can lead to permanent liver damage. Additionally, consuming alcohol causes your blood sugar to drop and hurts the liver’s ability to release glucose into the bloodstream, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health conditions.

  6. Stay hydrated.
    Your body needs water to function properly. Your kidneys rely on water to eliminate extra blood sugar when you pee. When you’re dehydrated, you stop peeing, causing an accumulation of blood sugar, and ultimately blood sugar spikes and health issues such as obesity, fatty liver, and high blood sugar. 

  7. Take supplements to support your whole-body health.
    All-natural and science-backed supplements such as Liver Focus and Blood Sugar Focus work to give your whole-body health critical support. Liver Focus helps your liver heal, so it can better regulate blood sugar and Blood Sugar Focus makes it easier to manage blood sugar spikes for consistent energy levels. 

Now, we know we’ve given you a lot of information about your liver health, blood sugar, fatty liver disease, food and exercise, and maintaining whole-body health. But ultimately, we want you to remember that you are what you eat and health is wealth.

The better you take care of your body, the easier it is for your body to take care of you. Your liver health and blood sugar levels depend on you to make healthy balanced choices about your food, exercise, hydration, and lifestyle habits. 

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