In the bustling metro city of Delhi, where the air quality index often reaches dangerous levels, a new concern has emerged – a possible link between air pollution and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Health experts have highlighted how the toxic air we breathe may be contributing to the diabetes epidemic in urban areas.
In an interview with Zee News English, Dr Mahesh DM, Consultant Endocrinology, Aster CMI Hospital, explained how pollution increases the risk of diabetes and the current air quality is getting worse every day.
Recent studies have revealed a worrying link between air pollution and diabetes, especially in densely populated areas like Delhi. Criminal? A combination of high traffic emissions and industrial pollutants that saturate the air. These environmental stressors not only jeopardize respiratory health, but may also silently increase the risk of diabetes among the population.
Researchers highlight various mechanisms through which air pollution may increase diabetes risk. Dr. Mahesh says, “A major factor is inflammation, a process that can wreak havoc on cells and tissues. Inflammation caused by pollutants can disrupt the body’s ability to metabolize glucose. In simple words, it damages the cells and tissues responsible for insulin production. , making them resistant to insulin. Result? “Elevated blood sugar levels, a red flag for diabetes.”
Additionally, Dr. Mahesh says, “Pollution-induced oxidative stress emerges as another culprit. The pancreas, important for insulin production, becomes the target of damage under the onslaught of oxidative stress caused by pollutants. “As the organ responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, any damage to the pancreas can tilt the balance toward diabetes.”
Experts stress the importance of adopting preventive measures to deal with this growing health concern.
Endocrinology expert Dr Mahesh advises, “Individuals are advised to stay indoors during peak pollution hours and should consider using air purifiers at home to create a safe indoor environment. Furthermore, it is important to follow diabetes guidelines given by medical practitioners. “A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet high in protein and low carbohydrates, regular exercise of at least 30 minutes a day and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can significantly reduce the risks associated with pollution-induced diabetes.”
As Delhi grapples with an air quality crisis, it becomes imperative for individuals to prioritize their health by understanding the complex relationship between air pollution and diabetes. By taking proactive steps at both individual and societal levels, we can strive to breathe cleaner air and protect our well-being in the face of this silent health threat.