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Biotechnician turned doctor says he contracted Type-1 diabetes after handling BPA, a common plastics chemical


(NaturalNews) In the 1970s, Nathan Ravi was a chemical engineer for a Virginia biotechnology company. Ravi worked directly with bisphenol-A (BPA) long before the risks were publicized.

He was in great physical condition all his young life, until age 28. That's when his health started spiraling out of control. That year, he suddenly started fatiguing easily. His vision blurred. Weakness set in. His immune system was turning against him. When his doctor broke the news, it all came as a surprise: He was suffering from Type-I diabetes, an autoimmune condition in which the body loses its ability to produce insulin for energy production. His pancreas was suddenly shutting down.

This is a condition that mostly plagues newborns, in their first year of life, but it was happening to Ravi in his late 20s.

Type-I diabetes is significantly different to type-II. In type-II, the pancreas is overwhelmed but not shut down completely. Type-II diabetes can be cured with changes in diet and exercise, but with type-I, the pancreas shuts down altogether.

Type-I diabetes through endocrine disruption: BPA likely involved

The only explanation for the sudden onset of type-I diabetes was Ravi's direct, daily exposure to BPA. He didn't know it then, but BPA would soon be recognized as a plasticizer chemical proven to cause birth defects, autoimmune diseases and endocrine disruption. Dr. Nathan Ravi worked directly with raw quantities of the chemical as he oversaw its manufacture into consumer and industrial products.

By 1980, Dr. Ravi was an expert in polymer science and got his doctorate in the field. However, he was continually perplexed about his worsening condition and the mysterious onset of type-I diabetes. The mystery baffled him until he started searching for answers in the 80s. In 1988, he became a physician.

Ravi said he began to feel better with healthful lifestyle and diet changes, but the condition of type-I diabetes remained. In his quest, he started searching for possible triggers that could have set his immune system against itself. He went back to the biotech facility where he had worked directly with BPA. He discovered that two of his former co-workers who had also worked directly with BPA had also suddenly started suffering from type-I diabetes. This correlation heavily influenced Ravi's perspective on BPA and other known endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Today, Dr. Ravi speaks out about the dangers of BPA, and tells people how to avoid endocrine disrupters. Through the years, BPA has been used in beverage and food containers. As the body is exposed to the chemical, noticeable hormonal changes occur, which can affect weight, mood, energy, metabolism and sexual function.

Many product manufacturers today know the risks of BPA and now make "BPA free" versions of their products. Some are phasing out the use of BPA altogether. At the moment, BPA is banned in baby bottles manufactured in the EU, Canada and the US. Sadly, the FDA "continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging ... based on its most recent safety assessment." Perhaps it's time to listen to the careful observations of common people who've worked with the chemicals and suffered through dreadful changes in their bodies.

Dr. Nathan Ravi inspires with his insight on endocrine disrupters and their health risks

Now, Dr. Nathan Ravi warns people everywhere to "use glass or ceramic whenever possible. Every flexible plastic has an endocrine disruptor," he says. The chemicals become most dangerous when they deteriorate from the packaging and leech into the food or beverage. Heating the plastic in the microwave may be the most dangerous practice, as it breaks down the endocrine disrupting chemicals into the food. Synthetic fragrances and vanity chemicals also contain endocrine disrupters that are applied and absorbed directly into the skin.

"I'm trying to come up with a movement to get plastic out of day-to-day activities," Dr. Ravi says.

His healthful living practices, including his avoidance of endocrine disrupting chemicals, has enabled him to run marathons and return to optimal shape, even while facing type-I diabetes. He is expected to run the Boston Marathon this year, and continue on running 30 to 50 mile races across the world.

"I don't say I'm an expert," he said. "I just tell them my story."

He has learned a great deal about his body, and follows a strict diet consisting of 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbs and 20 percent fats. He runs several days a week, gets plenty of rest and clean water, and won't drink out of plastic.

"I'm glad I got diabetes," he said thankfully. "Without it, I wouldn't be a physician, and I wouldn't be telling people my story."

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