Climate Change and Diabetes Mellitus

Is there a relation between the climate crisis and diabetes mellitus?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Climate Change and Diabetes Mellitus
© Getty Images / Staff Getty Images

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by the presence of high levels of glucose in the blood and due to an altered quantity of insulin.

It is a chronic disease characterized by a high concentration of glucose in the blood, which is in turn caused by a lack of insulin in the human body, or by an altered functionality of insulin itself, a hormone that stimulates the intake of glucose in muscle and fat cells decreases its concentration in the blood.

Diabetes mellitus can be caused by a number of factors. Some may result from defects in insulin action, such as type A insulin resistance, leprechaunism, Rabson-Mendenhall syndrome, and lipodystrophic syndromes; some pancreatic diseases can cause diabetes, as in the case of pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis and pancreatic cancer.

Among the drugs that can cause diabetic forms are Vacor used as rat poison, pentamidine, nicotinic acid, glucocorticoids, thyroid hormones, diazoxide, β-agonists, thiazides, phenytoin, interferon α, protease inhibitors, clozapine, β- blockers. Some infections can lead to diabetes such as congenital rubella, cytomegalovirus and coxsackie virus.

Diabetes Mellitus and food
Diabetes Mellitus and food© Dan Kitwood / Staff Getty Images

The relation between the climate crisis and diabetes mellitus

But can there be a relation between the climate crisis and diabetes mellitus?

The study Climate Change and Diabetes Mellitus - Emerging Global Public Health Crisis: Observational Analysis, published in the Pakistan journal of medical sciences, made an interesting retrospective on the topic.

The researchers explain: "Climate change is the most pressing challenge of the 21st century. It's immediate impacts on the environment are extreme weather conditions such as heatwaves, storms, rains, floods, sealevel rise, the disruption of crops, agricultural systems, water, vector-borne diseases, and ecosystems.

The weather-related disasters disturbed the natural biological environment and displaced millions of people from their homes. The extreme weather conditions caused the deaths of about two million people and $4.3 trillion in economic loss over the past half a century, and 90% of deaths were reported from developing countries. It has also been predicted that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is presumed to cause about 250,000 additional deaths per year.

The rapid rise in temperatures, frequencies of heat waves, wildfires, storms, and other extreme weather conditions could affect human health in many ways. The one-degree Celsius rise in outdoor temperature causes over 100,000 new cases of diabetes mellitus per year. Climate change compromised body metabolism, vasodilation, sweating, insulin resistance and cause Type-2 diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes Mellitus."