Diabetes Medication Is Harming The Fish In Lake Michigan
A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that the type 2 diabetes drug metformin is causing hormonal changes in fish exposed to it in Lake Michigan. At this stage it is not known how these changes will affect the long term health and fertility of the fish. This is not the first time that pharmaceuticals or personal care products have adversely affected the health of wildlife.
Type 2 diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States and most other countries around the world. Metformin is an effective drug for lowering blood sugar and it's the most commonly prescribed drug for diabetics. In 2013, more than 60 million prescriptions were dispensed for metformin in the United States. The drug is also given to women with polycystic ovarian syndrome in an attempt to help them lose weight and restore their fertility.
When people take metformin, their body doesn't fully break it down. Sewage treatment plants can't purify it out of the water, therefore residues can build up in lakes and rivers. According to Rebecca Klaper, a professor and research scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences, metformin enters waste water treatment plants at 40 parts per billion and is found at between 100 and 200 parts per trillion two miles out in Lake Michigan.
"The sewage treatment plant is taking out a significant amount of the medication, but it's just that it's coming in at such a high concentration, it doesn't remove it all. A sewage treatment plant wasn't designed to take these medications out."
Metformin is a generally safe and well tolerated medication for diabetics; therefore, please don't discontinue it or any other drug your doctor has prescribed. This study just highlights what a significant issue diabetes has become in recent years. Fortunately, lifestyle changes are extremely effective in both preventing and reversing type 2 diabetes in the vast majority of cases. Herbal remedies such as Berberine and Glicemic Balance can be very helpful.
In the vast majority of cases, type 2 diabetes can be reversed. There is a step-by-step plan on how to do that in our book Diabetes Type 2: You Can Reverse It Naturally.