Climate crisis and diabetes: are they related?

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Climate crisis and diabetes: are they related?

The guidelines for implementing rational therapy in the case of uncomplicated diabetes mellitus require the patient to adopt an adequate and functional lifestyle (diet and exercise) for the pharmacological treatment set. Without ignoring the importance of a diet with a limited intake of simple sugars, recent studies identify how early insulin therapy can prevent a progression of type 2 diabetes in a greater percentage than oral hypoglycemic agents.

Many studies have highlighted the importance of lifestyle changes in people with diabetes mellitus, and breastfeeding appears to reduce the chance of developing diabetes as an adult. A dietary regimen in which the relationships between carbohydrates, proteins, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids are well controlled is essential for drug therapy to be able to effectively control blood sugar.

The study: Diabetes mellitus in the era of climate change, published on the Diabetes & metabolism, said: "Worldwide, diabetes mellitus (DM) represents a major public-health problem due to its increasing prevalence in tandem with the rising trend of obesity.

However, climate change, with its associated negative health effects, also constitutes a worrisome problem. Patients with DM are experiencing more visits to emergency departments, hospitalizations, morbidity and mortality during heat waves at ever-increasing numbers.

Such patients are particularly vulnerable to heat waves due to impaired thermoregulatory mechanisms in conjunction with impaired autonomous nervous system responses at high temperatures, electrolyte imbalances and rapid deterioration of kidney function, particularly among those aged> 80 years and with preexisting chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Moreover, exposure to cold temperatures is associated with increased rates of acute myocardial infarction as well as poor glyca emic control, although results are conflicting regarding cold-related mortality among patients with DM.

In addition to extremes of temperature, air pollution as a consequence of the climate crisis may also be implicated in the increased prevalence and incidence of DM, particularly gestational DM (GDM), and lead to deleterious effects in patients with DM.

Thus, more large-scale studies are now required to elucidate the association between specific air pollutants and risk of DM. This review presents the currently available evidence for the detrimental effects of climate change, particularly those related to weather variables, on patients with DM (both type 1 and type 2) and GDM.

Specifically, the effects of heat waves and extreme cold, and pharmaceutical and therapeutic issues and their implications, as well as the impact of air pollution on the risk for DM are synthesized and discussed here."