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What’s the Link Between Hepatitis C and Diabetes?- HealthifyMe


What’s the Link Between Hepatitis C and Diabetes?- HealthifyMe


As per a study, individuals with persistent HCV have an increased possibility of creating type 2 diabetes and insulin opposition in correlation with individuals who don’t have the infection. In addition, this condition fosters diabetes more than in individuals with hepatitis B, another state that influences the liver. 

It is critical to comprehend how HCV can cause diabetes to understand its prevention. First, that glucose enters the circulatory system. As a result, increased glucose measures in the bloodstream results in the release of insulin from the beta cells in the pancreas. This insulin assists cells with engrossing glucose.

Hepatitis C: An Introduction

Hepatitis C is a viral infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that can create inflammation in the liver. The liver processes blood and filters toxins from the body. It helps you digest food by producing proteins, essential blood components, and bile. It also stores glucose and vitamins. Inflammation caused by Hepatitis C interrupts the liver’s ability to perform these vital functions. As a result, it prompts genuine liver harm like liver damage. The infection spreads through a contaminated individual’s blood or body liquids. According to WHO, Hepatitis C virus infection affects an estimated 58 million individuals worldwide, with 1.5 million new infections occurring each year.

Hepatitis C virus can cause acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging from mild to severe and lifelong illnesses, including liver cirrhosis and cancer. Acute hepatitis C is a short-term infection. Symptoms can last up to 6 months. Sometimes your body can fight off the infection, and the virus disappears. Chronic hepatitis C is a long-lasting infection. Chronic hepatitis C occurs when your body isn’t able to fight off the virus. According to research, about 75 to 85 per cent of people with acute hepatitis C will develop chronic hepatitis C.

The most common way of getting hepatitis C is exposure to tainted blood. It can happen using:

  • Infusing drugs utilising a needle recently used by a tainted individual
  • Sharing individual cleanliness things, similar to razors
  • Getting a tattoo or a body penetrating using a dirty needle

Phases of Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C infection influences individuals in various ways and has a few phases:

  • Growth period: This is the time between the first openness to the beginning of the infection. It can endure somewhere in the range of 14 to 80 days. However, the normal is 45.
  • Intense hepatitis C is a transient disease that goes on for the initial half year after the infection enters your body. Specific individuals who have it will dispose of, or clear, the condition from that point forward.
  • Constant hepatitis C: For the vast majority who get hepatitis C, up to 85% of the sickness moves into an enduring stage (longer than a half year). It is a persistent hepatitis C contamination and can prompt genuine medical issues like liver malignant growth or cirrhosis.
  • Cirrhosis: This illness prompts irritation that, over the long run, replaces your sound liver cells with scar tissue. It ordinarily takes around 20 to 30 years to occur; however, it may be quicker assuming you drink liquor or have HIV.
  • Liver malignant growth-  Cirrhosis makes liver malignant growth almost certain. Your primary care physician will ensure you get routine tests since there are generally no side effects in the beginning phases.

Chronic HCV can impact quite a few functions that your liver performs. Thus, it can be detrimental to your health. In addition, HCV can also increase your possibilities of other diseases like coronary illness and diabetes. 

The chronic form of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a risk factor for developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In addition, studies have shown that chronic HCV infection is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes. Insulin aids glucose absorption into our cells. Therefore, HCV may increase the body’s insulin resistance, a key risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

The connection between hepatitis C and diabetes is interlinked. If a person has diabetes, they are at risk of a more severe HCV infection. Diabetes reduces the normal capacity of a person’s protective immune system, thus reducing the body’s ability to fight illnesses, including HCV. Diabetes increases the likelihood of complications associated with persistent HCV contamination.

Having both diabetes and HCV may cause some other complications. One such significant risk is cirrhosis which is an advanced liver disease. Cirrhosis also increases the body’s insulin resistance, making diabetes management even more difficult. Advanced forms of liver disease can cause liver failure, which can be fatal. Liver transplants are commonly needed for cirrhosis. In addition, a study has shown that people with both cirrhosis and diabetes have an increased risk for gallstones and urinary tract infections.

Diabetes and hepatitis C are part of a vicious circle. If a person has any one of the diseases, they are more likely to contract the other disease. And if they have both diseases, then the severity of the disease increases and results in additional complications.


Treatment for hepatitis depends on the severity of the infection, whether it is acute or chronic. Acute viral hepatitis often cures on its own. However, an infected person may need to rest and get enough fluids to improve. For the chronic type of hepatitis C, there are different medicines. Other treatments include surgery and other medical procedures.

However, if a person has diabetes and HCV, it can complicate treatment. The body’s cells become more insulin resistant with HCV, so patients might require a higher portion of medicine and insulin to keep glucose levels at the required levels. In addition, people with diabetes need to change to injectable insulin to keep it in check.

Lifestyle Changes

Research claims that lifestyle changes are one of the most important steps to reduce the incidence of diabetes patients and people at risk of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, lifestyle changes like weight reduction and increased physical activity should be one of the main focuses of patients with chronic hepatitis C and initial glucose metabolic derangements like insulin resistance. As a result, this aims to reduce their development of overt type 2 diabetes and its impact on liver fibrogenesis.

Several studies suggest that in chronic hepatitis C patients, lifestyle changes through medical and nutritional therapy and physical activity can improve all metabolic parameters such as reduced insulin resistance, lower blood glucose, lower triglycerides, and total serum cholesterol. If you have hepatitis C, you should eat a balanced, healthy diet. Talk with your doctor about healthy eating. It would help if you also avoided alcohol because it can cause more liver damage.


Constant HCV disease can prompt increased insulin obstruction as hepatitis C infection disables the hepatocyte insulin flagging pathway in more than one way, including 

  • Expanded creation of cancer rot factor-α, 
  • Phosphorylation of the insulin receptors, 
  • The overexpression of the silencer of cytokines (SOC-3), and 
  • Enlistment of SOC-7.

Even in hepatitis C patients who do not have metabolic disorders, liver and insulin production become affected.  

Chronic hepatitis C can result in severe and life-threatening health problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer. People with chronic hepatitis C can often have no symptoms and don’t feel sick. When symptoms appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. The best way to prevent hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviours that can spread the disease, especially injecting drugs.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. Does Hep C affect blood sugar?

A: Glycogen consumption from hepatitis C instigates hypoglycemia, an actuated persistent liver illness. In ongoing liver infection, glycogen stores drainage occurs from broad fibrosis. It shows that glycogen consumption might proclaim hepatic encephalopathy, which later appeared in patients. 

Q. Can you take metformin if you have hepatitis?

A: Metformin isn’t thought of as naturally hepatotoxic. Metformin might be gainful in patients with nonalcoholic greasy liver infection and persistent hepatitis C . Metformin is just contraindicated in patients with cutting-edge cirrhosis since it elevates the gamble of creating lactic acidosis.  

Q. Can high blood sugar cause hepatitis?

A. Some examination proposes a higher commonness of HCV among individuals with diabetes. A recent report from Brazil observed that individuals living with diabetes for over five years had a more substantial probability of HCV. Notwithstanding, it is indistinct why this is the situation. 

Q. What are signs that hep C is getting worse?

A. The stage one is, gentle fibrosis without dividers of scarring. Next is stage two, mild to direct fibrosis with walls of scarring. Stage three is crossing over fibrosis or scarring spread to the liver and stage four, severe scarring.

Q. Can hepatitis cause low blood sugar?

A. The cirrhotic liver doesn’t counter insulin. Subsequently, glucose can’t enter the cells and stays raised in the blood (diabetes). Individuals with cirrhosis can’t assemble glucose out of the body’s stores without much of a stretch fostering low glucose (hypoglycemia). 

Q. How does hepatitis cause insulin resistance?

A. Ongoing HCV disease can expand the possibility of diabetes. Because of the infection’s effect on the liver, which works at reducing glucose fat, the liver can’t work as it ought to; it can prompt high blood glucose levels and insulin opposition. Also, hepatic insulin obstruction, which occurs by diacylglycerol-interceded actuation of protein kinase C epsilon (PKC𝜀), might be the essential neurotic connection among NAFLD and T2DM. 

Q. What is acute hepatitis A?

A. Hepatitis An is an irritation of the liver that can cause gentle to severe sickness. Hepatitis An infection (HAV) spreads through ingestion of defiled food and water or direct contact with an irresistible individual. Nearly everybody recuperates entirely from hepatitis A with a long-lasting insusceptibility. 

Q. Can diabetes cause hepatitis 1?

A. Individuals with diabetes are in danger of hepatitis B due to visiting percutaneous openings in the blood. The infection is one of a few sorts of hepatitis infections that aggravate and influence your liver’s capacity to work. You’re probably going to get hepatitis A from sullied food or water or close contact with an untainted individual or article. In this manner, CDC and the Advisory Committee for Immunisation Practices (ACIP) suggest hepatitis B vaccination for all unvaccinated grown-ups with diabetes who are more youthful than 60 years of age. 

Q. Can hepatitis B cause diabetes?

A. Asymptomatic ongoing hepatitis B infection contamination doesn’t expand the gamble of diabetes mellitus People with diabetes are in danger of hepatitis B due to visiting percutaneous blood opening soon. Accordingly, CDC and the Advisory Committee for Immunisation Practices (ACIP) suggest hepatitis B vaccination for all unvaccinated grown-ups with diabetes who are more youthful than 60 years old. 

Q. What is the fastest way to cure hepatitis A?

A. There’s no solution for hepatitis A; however, it gets better alone after several months. In any case, it’s good to see your GP for a blood test, assuming you have symptoms of hepatitis A. 

Q. Which hepatitis is not curable?

A. Chronic hepatitis B does not cure for a long time. Current treatments have neglected to obliterate the viral supply, where the infection stays in the cell, rather than hepatitis C infection, which has no such popular pool and can now improve in just 12 weeks of treatment. Hepatitis B is a liver disease brought about by an infection (called the hepatitis B infection, or HBV). It tends to be significant, and there’s no fix, yet the uplifting news is it’s not difficult to forestall.

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