The list of type 2 diabetes risk factors is well documented: weight, inactivity, family history, race, age, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and high levels of triglycerides among them. Increasingly, researchers are finding that environmental factors—some surprising—also play a large role.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When you eat food, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for the cells in the body. Insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause two problems:
- Right away, your cells may be starved for energy.
- Over time, high blood glucose levels may hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.
Phthalates is a class of chemicals found in everything from scented candles and makeup to laundry detergent and plastic drinking bottles. Researchers are beginning to believe the prevalence of these chemicals, believed to disrupt hormones in the body, is wreaking havoc on health. Because diabetes is a hormonal disease, increased exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals leaves an individual more prone to develop diabetes.
While further research is needed to confirm the link between phthalate exposure and diabetes, the chemical decidedly plays a role in other health problems, including autism, weight gain, infertility, and even some cancers.
To reduce your exposure to phthalates, Prevention.com recommends monitoring the products you and your family use, and the foods you consume every day.
- Personal care products: While the exact word “phthalate” won’t appear on the ingredient list of your shampoo or lotion, telltale monikers (parfume or fragrance) belie these nefarious chemicals. Shop for products that distinguish themselves as phthalate-free.
- Air fresheners: Most household products use phthalate-containing scent: candles, air fresheners, and scented cleaning and laundry supplies included. It’s best to choose unscented household products whenever possible. Beware of products that use the word “natural,” and other green or environmental-sounding terms, as well as products with green labels, which may be misleading.
- Diet: Phthalates also show up in foods—previous studies have shown the chemical to be common in conventional produce. While it’s uncertain why the chemical is present in food supplies, one theory supposes that, since phthalates are in so many products that get washed down the drain, it’s likely that it ends up in human sewage sludge, which can be used as a fertilizer on nonorganic crops.
At Symbius Medical, we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for our customers and the communities we serve. We offer a 24-hour on-call service that will answer any questions or concerns that you or caregivers may have when using our home medical equipment or products. We invite you to visit one of our regional retail branch locations for all your home medical equipment needs or call us toll free at 800-364-5339 to place your home medical supply order today.