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Question:

From Vancouver, Washington, USA:

My 13 year old son was diagnosed when he was 11, and when I read about diabetes they talk about turning the liver off so want to know how type 1 diabetes affects the liver. What do they mean? What would the end result of a worn out liver look like in diabetes?

I put my son on niacinamide because I heard that was standard protocol in Australia. My father died of primary sclerosing liver disease, and he had at one time in his life taken large quantities of niacin for tinnitus. Can niacinamide hurt my son's liver in the long run?

Answer:

Wow! I can see why you might be concerned.

I would advise that you stop the vitamin supplements. I believe that you are referring to nicotinamide which has been used in experimental studies, primarily as a way to prevent type 1 diabetes, and I do not believe this is standard therapy at all. Nicotinamide can affect liver function!

I have no idea what was meant when someone commented to you about "turning the liver off" with regard to type 1 diabetes. Some of the medications used in type 2 diabetes inhibit the liver's production of glucose, but that is not "turning the liver off", and I don't believe that is even pertinent to your son.

Poorly controlled diabetes can interfere with liver function: fat can accumulate in the liver; liver function enzymes can go higher (indicating liver damage); cholesterol (produced in the liver) can elevate; triglycerides (fat globules), normally cleared by the liver, can also elevate. In a rare process of very poorly controlled diabetes, the liver can enlarge significantly and is associated with the Mauriac Syndrome which is also associated with short stature and poor progression through puberty.

DS

DTQ-20020313155250B
Original posting 2 Apr 2002
Posted to Other Illnesses and Other Medications

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:34
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