How does Air Pollution Increase the Risk of Diabetes?
Medically Reviewed By
Dr Sohini Sengupta
Written By Meenakshi
on Nov 6, 2023
Last Edit Made By Meenakshi
on Nov 6, 2023
Air Pollution is increasing or reached its severe stage; we hear this every year, especially after the crop burns. While it is not the only cause of growing air pollution, it contributes to it. Most people take Air Pollution very lightly. But did you know that this global concern has far-reaching health implications that extend beyond respiratory issues? It is true that if the air we breathe in is not clean, it can cause various health problems. One overlooked disease among all is Diabetes. Don't be surprised! It is because, according to a recent BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care Journal, a seven-year study involving 12000 individuals revealed that prolonged exposure to fine pollution particles (PM2.5) led to elevated blood glucose levels.
We understand that you must have so many questions, like how air pollution and Diabetes are connected, who is at risk, and what preventive measures can save you. Well, fret not! We have answers to all your queries right here in the blog. So, let's get started.
How Air Pollution & Diabetes Linked?
Air Pollution can cause Diabetes! If you are shocked by the statement, don't worry; you are not alone. But here we are to help you understand it better. The pollutants present in the air, including PM2.5, Ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), can enter the bloodstream, impacting varied organs, including the ones involved in glucose metabolism. Here's how they are linked:
- Inflammation: Individuals exposed to air pollution for longer than those who are not are at higher risk of experiencing systemic inflammation in the body, disrupting insulin. It can cause insulin resistance and raise the risk for Type 2 Diabetes.
- Oxidative Stress: The pollutants are considered harmful as they generate oxidative stress, which can damage pancreatic cells, which are responsible for proper insulin production and secretion.
- Alteration of Gut Microbiome: The Gut Microbiome is vital to regulating glucose metabolism, and prolonged exposure to air pollution can influence it, leading to an increased risk of Diabetes.
Who is more at risk?
While everyone is susceptible to the harmful effects of pollution, certain individuals who are more vulnerable to its impact on Diabetes are:
- Children: Children are more sensitive to environmental toxins. Prolonged air pollution exposure in children can cause varied diseases, and the risk of developing Diabetes later in life is one among them.
- Elderly Adults: Whether it is air pollution-related disease, Diabetes, or else, elderly adults are always at higher risk. It is because, with age, their immune system weakens, affecting their ability to fight against infections making them susceptible to health effects of air pollution, including Diabetes.
- Individuals In Urban Areas: Thanks to the sky-touching buildings and fewer plants around, urban areas are more exposed to air pollutants than rural areas, increasing people's risk of Diabetes.
So, we understood the problem and the people at risk. But the question is, is there any way to prevent it? Well, you'll be happy to hear that, yes, there is a way to manage it and minimize your risks. Wondering how? Scroll down to find out:
Practical Tips To Protect Against Air Pollution:
- Reduce Exposure: Awareness is the first and foremost step that can help you win half of the battle against the harmful impacts of air pollution. Therefore, you must be well-informed about local air quality and avoid outdoor activities during high pollution.
- Switch To An Active Lifestyle: Exercising is important for all in every aspect and stage of life. It can save you from various health issues and help you lead a healthy life. Exercising improves insulin sensitivity, mitigates the effects of air pollution, and reduces the risk of Diabetes.
- Eat A Balanced Diet: There is an adage that you become what you eat. Therefore, you should choose a balanced diet rich in antioxidants that can help your body counteract the oxidative stress caused by pollution and minimize the risks of Diabetes.
- Consider Regular Checkups: Regular monitoring of blood sugar or other health parameters is essential to help detect disease early, even before the symptoms strike, allowing timely intervention and management. So, when it comes to regular checkups, what are the tests or packages that can help? Read on to get the answer:
- Respiratory Screening Package - Essential: It includes a range of tests to evaluate and monitor an individual's respiratory health. While assessing the functioning of the respiratory system, the test detects potential health issues, allowing timely intervention.
- Allergy Screening Package - Essential: It is another blood test that helps look for allergens triggering allergen reactions among individuals. It helps check your respiratory health and avoid respiratory issues, especially in high-pollution regions.
- Immunity Test - Advanced: Air pollution, in one way or another, impacts your immune health, leading to several infections and health problems, and an Immunity Test - Advanced helps you stay ahead of the problems. It provides detailed insights into various aspects of immune health and aids in assessing an individual's immune system function comprehensively. Routinely testing your immune health helps you understand your vulnerability to air pollution, allowing actions that can save you.
- Asthma Rhinitis Allergy Panel: The test helps identify and assess allergic reactions in individuals with asthma, rhinitis (hay fever), or related respiratory conditions. It analyzes specific allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and more to help find the triggers responsible for allergic symptoms.
These tests may help with pollutant-related problems, but this is different; routine blood sugar level monitoring is equally important.
Top Tests For Diabetes:
- HbA1c Test: Also called A1c Test, HbA1c Test or a glycated hemoglobin test, measures average blood sugar levels that help diagnose Diabetes and allow better management of the condition while there is still time.
- Glucose Fasting Test: Also called the FBS Test, the test helps assess an individual's blood glucose levels after overnight fasting, aiding early detection of Diabetes and prediabetes.
- Insulin Fasting Test: The test evaluates insulin levels in the blood after overnight fasting, providing insights into an individual's insulin sensitivity and aiding the early detection of insulin resistance, which is linked with Type 2 Diabetes.
- Diabetes Profile- Essential: It includes a range of tests that measure blood sugar levels and help monitor and manage Diabetes in the most effective way possible.
Early and routine health screening is undeniable in helping you stay safe and ahead of health issues. So, make them a critical part of your lifestyle for better choices. If you are looking for any of the tests mentioned above or other diagnostic tests, Redcliffe Labs is the best Omnichannel Pan India Diagnostic Service Provider to trust.
Air pollution is a silent threat to public health and is increasingly recognized as a significant risk factor for Diabetes. By understanding the link between air pollution and Diabetes, identifying those most at risk, and taking preventative measures, we can mitigate the impact and work towards a healthier, pollution-free, and diabetes-free future.