In the bustling metro city of Delhi, where the air quality index often reaches alarming levels, a new concern has emerged — the potential link between air pollution and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Health experts have shed light on how the toxic air we breathe may be contributing to the diabetes epidemic in urban areas.
In an interiview with Zee News English, Dr Mahesh D M, Consultant, Endocrinology Aster CMI Hospital shares how pollution increase the risk of diabetes with the current air quality getting worse every day.
Recent studies have unveiled a disconcerting connection between air pollution and diabetes, particularly in densely populated regions like Delhi. The culprit? A combination of high traffic emissions and industrial pollutants that saturate the air. These environmental stressors not only jeopardize respiratory health but may also be silently elevating the risk of diabetes among the population.
Researchers highlight various mechanisms through which air pollution can heighten the risk of diabetes. Dr Mahesh says, “One key factor is inflammation, a process that can wreak havoc on cells and tissues. The inflammation triggered by pollutants can disrupt the body’s ability to metabolize glucose. In simpler terms, it damages the cells and tissues responsible for insulin production, rendering them resistant to insulin. The consequence? Elevated blood sugar levels, a red flag for diabetes.”
Moreover, Dr Mahesh adds, “pollution-induced oxidative stress emerges as another culprit. The pancreas, crucial for insulin production, becomes a target of damage under the assault of oxidative stress caused by pollutants. As the very organ responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, any impairment to the pancreas can tip the balance towards diabetes.”
To combat this growing health concern, experts emphasize the importance of adopting preventive measures.
Dr Mahesh, an Endocrinology specialist recommends, “Individuals are advised to stay indoors during peak pollution hours and consider using air purifiers at home to create a safer indoor environment. Furthermore, adhering to diabetic guidelines provided by medical practitioners is crucial. A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates, regular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, and abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, can significantly mitigate the risks associated with pollution-induced diabetes.”
As Delhi grapples with its air quality crisis, it becomes imperative for individuals to prioritize their health by understanding the intricate link between air pollution and diabetes. By taking proactive steps, both at an individual and societal level, we can strive to breathe cleaner air and safeguard our well-being in the face of this silent health threat.