No doubt, diet and lifestyle are part of the complex puzzle of diabetes. Most people do not know that there are other factors beyond their control that can cause diabetes to rear its ugly head. I’m specifically talking about toxins that are making their way into your body through air, water, food, and home products. Sneaky toxins are hard to pinpoint, and that is one reason we turn a blind eye to the mounting chemicals that are ruining our health.
Over the decades that diabetes has skyrocketed, so too has the level of toxins in our environment. Those poisons don’t stay put; they travel through air and water into soil, oceans, and through our windows. Many companies intentionally add toxins to products that you slather on your skin or use to clean your home. Even products that hold your food and beverages are steeped with chemicals that leach into us.
While one tiny toxin here or there may not harm you, the problem is that toxins collect in your body, lodge in your cells, and do not exit your body without doing major damage.
The overall load of toxins is what increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. You can’t avoid every toxin in the environment, but becoming aware of your biggest sources of exposure will help you reduce your risk. Look out for these five body burdens and avoid them whenever possible.
Arsenic damages the pancreas, and that means decreased insulin. The most common source of arsenic exposure is through drinking water, but even foods like rice and seafood have been found to contain high levels.
Arsenic not only leads to diabetes, but it can put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, and neurological issues.
Avoid arsenic by using a water filter or purification system. Beware that not all filters remove arsenic, so check the list of contaminants before wasting your money. Also, supplements like resveratrol, B vitamins, and curcumin are known to moderate arsenic damage.
BPA is found in plastic goods like water bottles, canned foods, food containers, and more. This stuff is a disaster for your body because it blocks insulin receptors on your cells so you cannot use carbs for fuel. This leaves you with high blood sugar, obesity, and exhaustion. Probiotics Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, as well as n-acetylcysteine and alpha lipoic acids, are supplements that bind BPA and get it out of your body!
Phthalates are chemicals used in plastic to make them flexible, transparent, and durable. Even though phthalates are contained in the plastic, they leach into food and contaminate your body. Phthalates interrupt production of hormones such as insulin, estrogen, and testosterone. In fact, Europe has banned the use of phthalates due to the overwhelming research that they are harmful. Supplements like α-lipoic acid, resveratrol, and curcumin are thought to protect against damage from phthalates.
4. Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs)
Eating quality foods—organic produce and pasture-raised or wild meat—ensures that you’re providing your body with the fuel it needs to protect itself from harmful toxins.
These toxins are part of your daily diet if you aren’t eating organically. Pesticides are sprayed on your food and make their way into your body. These specific chemicals find a cozy place and stay put, meaning you can build quite a load of toxic pesticides over your lifetime. OCPs damage insulin receptors and lead to diabetes. This is a great reason to eat organically whenever possible. N-acetylcysteine and quercetin can help move OCPs out of your system.
5. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
These are the well-known carcinogens in cigarette smoke, but you don’t need to be a smoker to get hit hard by PAHs. They are also found in grilled and smoked meats, in urban air, and around fossil fuel burning sites. You can reduce your risk by not smoking, stewing or baking meat, and using high-quality air filters in your home. Adding curcumin, vitamins C and E, and quercetin to your daily regimen will help your body detox from PAHs.
It can be defeating to think about all the ways toxins are taking their toll on your health. Instead of getting overwhelmed, start with one step at a time. Switching to organic foods, buying a water filter, or starting a supplement routine are all great first steps to helping your body overcome a toxic world.