Diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases of the western world having exploded by over 600% in the last 35 years (1). If we look at Australia alone, there is one new diagnosis of diabetes every 9 minutes. (2). Usually, weight is the leading risk factor for diabetes, however with increasing numbers of new diabetics with body mass index (BMI) within the normal range it’s also important to talk about other risk factors.
With increasing industrialisation of our food chain, research looking at toxin levels in the food we eat and incidence of diabetes has found startling connections between high levels of persistent organic pollutants and other toxins including organochlorines to be a major risk factor in development of diabetes. (3), (4), (5)
What are Organochlorines?
Organochlorines are everywhere. The represent some of the most widely used chemical compounds and because of our extensive use of plastics and industrialized food chain they permeate all aspects of modern life. Food storage and packaging, pesticides and fungicides, personal care and cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, are all major sources of organochlorines.
Organochlorines are generally considered a persistent organic pollutant. Their chemical structure is such that they last in the environment for an exceptionally long time and are cumulative both in the food chain and our own bodies tissues. Data from the CDC in the US shows that 100% of people tested have detectable levels of pesticides, including organochlorines in both blood and urine.
How Do Organochlorines & Other Environmental Toxins Cause Diabetes?
Although the effects of organochlorines and other environmental toxins can be seen in all parts of the body, one of the most sensitive organs is the pancreas.
Already, overworked trying to keep blood sugar levels stable under the onslaught of a typical western diet, the pancreas is even further stressed by these unwanted invaders. Insulin levels begin to swing as the combined effects of different toxins lead to dysregulated insulin production before completely destroying the beta cells of the pancreas responsible for insulin production.
Not just content with attacking the pancreas, many environmental toxins also damage insulin receptors in other cells of the body. Without functioning insulin receptors, these cells cannot respond to levels of insulin being released leading to increasing levels of insulin and insulin resistance.
How Detoxification Can Help You Control Diabetes
One of the most important strategies for preventing toxicity from contributing to diabetes is detoxification. Just like other toxins, we can eliminate these given the right conditions and raw materials.
Detoxification of environmental pollutants is a multi step process involving:
Step 1: Mobilisation of Toxins
Most environmental pollutants are fat soluble, which means they are typically stored in our bodies fat cells. This is one of the reasons toxicity is often considered a risk factor for not just diabetes but also obesity.
During step one, we focus on liberating toxins from the bodies fat stores. This typically involves a detoxification diet emphasising lean protein sources and leafy green vegetables. Increasing your fluid intake, lymphatic massage, and herbs that help to promote lymphatic flow can all help with mobilisation.
Step 2: Processing of Toxins
Liberating toxins from fat stores alone is not sufficient for proper detoxification. Unless they are properly processed by the liver, toxins will simply recirculate in the blood stream causing damage to the bodies tissues again.
In step, two we help the liver convert toxins to less biologically active forms that can be successfully eliminated. This stage is particularly important when dealing with the toxins that contribute to diabetes. Organic pollutants, such as bisphenol and dioxins, are often potent endocrine disruptors and if not processed correctly can worsen symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as:
- mood swings
- food cravings
- weight gain
Ensuring sufficient protein intake and herbal support for the liver are vitally important in ensuring toxins are processed safely and effectively.
Step 3: Elimination
Elimination ensures that processed toxins are successfully removed from the body as quickly and efficiently as possible. Although step two involved processing toxins into less biologically active forms, they can still exert unwanted and even carcinogenic effects in the body.
For successful elimination we focus on ensuring all major organs of elimination including the bowel, kidneys, lungs, and skin, are all open and functioning properly.
Seek Professional Help & Advice
While high levels of toxins are definitely a health hazard, so to is detoxification when not done properly. Passion 4 Health regularly run a 6 week integrated detoxification programs that goes through all stages of detoxification in a healthy, controlled, process. Our programs are run by qualified Nutritionist and Naturopaths to ensure you obtain a healthy result.
If you would like to attend one of our programs call us today or click here for more information.
 Booth, Gordon, Carlson, and Hamilton. Waging war on modern chronic diseases: primary prevention through exercise biology.Journal of Applied Physiology,2000
 Diabetes Information – Diabetes Australia – Queensland.http://www.diabetesqld.org.au/about-diabetes/diabetes-information.aspx,Monday, 6 August 2012
 Codru, Schymura, Negoita, Rej, and Carpenter. Diabetes in Relation to Serum Levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Chlorinated Pesticides in Adult Native Americans.Environ Health Perspect,2007
 Longnecker, Klebanoff, Brock, and Zhou. Polychlorinated Biphenyl Serum Levels in Pregnant Subjects With Diabetes.Diabetes Care,2001
 Lee, Lee, Song, Steffes, Toscano, Baker, and Jacobs. A Strong Dose-Response Relation Between Serum Concentrations of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Diabetes.Diabetes Care,2006e