Demystifying Insulin Resistance: A Deeper Look Beyond Ozempic
By Dr. Christine Louden
The prevailing narrative surrounding type 2 diabetes often attributes its development to improper diet and a lack of physical activity. Type 2 diabetes primarily manifests as insulin resistance, which progresses over time. The conventional story suggests that an individual with a genetic predisposition to diabetes consumes a diet high in sugar, leading to chronic sugar intake, which results in elevated blood sugar levels. Consequently, the pancreas produces more insulin to regulate these high sugar levels. As time goes on, the cells become less responsive to insulin, causing insulin resistance, and ultimately leading to the onset of type 2 diabetes.
It is not far-fetched to argue that food companies share some responsibility for the growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, given their proliferation of highly palatable, sugar-laden, fatty, and salty processed foods. Numerous books delve into this topic, and at Bloom, we are committed to helping patients shift toward a diet consisting of whole foods, addressing one facet of the metabolic damage.
However, there is another, less apparent factor at play: environmental toxicants, often referred to as "obesogens." These chemicals affect us all, and those with type 2 diabetes might be seen as the canary in the coal mine, showing us the extent of this issue. While new drugs like Ozempic (the GPL-1 agonists) are effective in treating type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance on an individual level, they do not tackle the root problems. It's crucial for those tempted to use GPL-1 agonist drugs to address insulin resistance to first understand the underlying causes and make informed choices about their treatment options.
Many obesogens are not found in food, rather entering the body through other consumer products, like makeup, shampoos, soaps, plastics, and cleaners. Obesogens can also find their way into food through pesticides and food packaging. Understanding these sources of obesogens is essential for making informed decisions about your health and well-being.
Evidence suggests that several categories of environmental toxicants are linked to type 2 diabetes. These include Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides, bisphenols, arsenic, phthalates, and dioxins.
At Bloom, we assist our patients in identifying and minimizing their exposure to these toxicants. Additionally, for patients with higher toxicant levels and associated symptoms, we guide them through programs that involve the elimination of these chemicals and provide supplement support.
Regrettably, many of these chemicals are pervasive in our environment, and all of us are exposed to them. As physicians, we consider it our responsibility to heal our patients as individuals and advocate for policy changes that will safeguard the planet's current and future inhabitants.
On an individual level, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to these toxicants:
Use a water filter for your drinking water.
Install a shower filter in your shower.
Limit the consumption of canned foods and opt for glass packaging instead.
Prioritize fresh foods over processed and packaged options, and avoid foods wrapped
Eat organic foods vs conventionally grown.
Avoid storing or heating foods in plastic, and refrain from heating foods in the
microwave in paper or plastic containers.
Reduce consumption of foods known to concentrate POPs, such as butter, fish, high-fat dairy, and meat.
Increase your dietary fiber intake, as diets rich in chlorophyll aid in PCB excretion. Include green leafy vegetables and raw or lightly steamed servings of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli sprouts in your daily meals.
Limit or avoid alcohol consumption, as wine production involves the use of plastic tubing and wine may be a source of phthalates.
It's crucial to educate yourself about these chemicals and support nonprofit organizations working to enhance regulations and protect the environment's health. Some valuable resources for further information include:
By taking these steps and raising awareness about the impact of environmental toxicants, we can collectively work towards a healthier future for ourselves and the planet.