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Friday, February 3, 2017 - 10:32

The medical team of doctors at GlobeMed, the leading healthcare benefits management company in the Middle East, has conducted a literature review on the effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC) and their interference with the body hormones. The review was supervised by Dr. Elia Abdul Massih, Goodcare Clinics Director, and led by Dr. Karen Abou Jaoude, Population Health Specialist. It demonstrated that even at low levels of exposure, EDCs can induce adverse health effects, contributing significantly to the development of diseases such as cancers, asthma, diabetes, genital defects and obesity. Furthermore, the literature review established six easy ways to decrease exposure to these harmful chemicals.

What are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDSs)?
EDCs are exogenous chemicals or mixtures that can interfere with hormone actions in our bodies in a negative way. Hormones are messengers released from endocrine glands in the body and bind to specific receptors on their target organs to result in a precise, oftentimes required action for our healthy survival before being reabsorbed or eliminated once their effect has occurred. Examples of suspected EDCs include: metals, industrial chemicals, personal care products, pesticides, natural estrogen and progesterone, plastic, hormonally active drugs and synthetic hormones.
We are exposed daily to low doses of EDCs without even suspecting or realizing it such as:
• Perchlorate
• Parapenes
• Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
• Benzophenone

Even at low levels of exposure, EDCs can induce adverse health effects. Human and animal studies have shown causal relationships between EDCs and several diseases, and have identified the mechanisms by which these chemicals cause harm. Studies also demonstrated how EDCs contribute significantly to the development of cancers, asthma, diabetes, genital defects and obesity.
The Endocrine System and how EDCs interfere
The endocrine system and its hormones coordinate the tissues and organs of the body. Examples of such control include but are not limited to the following:
a. Estrogen and progesterone, which are important in female fertility.
b. Insulin, a key component of blood sugar regulation whose deficiency or low activity causes diabetes mellitus disease.
c. Thyroid hormones, which are released from the thyroid gland and are responsible for regulating various metabolic and growth functions.
Hormones of the endocrine system are important at all stages of life from conception until death. At conception, hormones are not only needed for the mother during pregnancy but also play an essential role in the development of the fetus in utero and later after birth throughout early life.
An important point to note is that hormones act at low doses. Any disruption of this balance, no matter how small, will have drastic effects on the functioning of organs and tissues. In addition, hormones need specific target receptors to illicit a response.
Since the relationship between hormone and effect is not linear, having too much or too little of a hormone is equally harmful. For instance, having too little or too much of testosterone in the body increases the risk of having prostate cancer equally.
EDCs can induce harmful effects by either changing the amount of hormones available or interfering with their corresponding receptors. They can then either mimic the hormonal response and thus multiply the effect or induce an opposing effect hence blocking or changing the intended action.
Why care?
The prevalence of many endocrine diseases such as diabetes and obesity is increasing and the burden rests upon us. For diseases to occur there is always an interplay of genetic and environmental factors. If we cannot choose or change our genes, at least not at this stage, then why not try and control our environment by limiting exposure to such chemicals as much as possible?
What can we do?
There are six simple steps that can reduce EDC exposure:
1. Eat Organic and Reduce Pesticides
The more you eat organic foods the less likely you are to ingest the chemicals found in pesticides. This does not mean that you have to be extremely strict and eat only organic. Not every fruit or vegetable you eat has to be purely organic. For instance, ones containing the highest doses are those directly sprayed with pesticides and eaten whole such as leafy greens and vegetables. It is recommended that you start your organic journey with “The Dirty Dozens” that harbor the most pesticides including bell peppers, spinach, nectarines, grapes, peaches, pears, celery, lettuce, potatoes, cherries, strawberries and apples.
2. Avoid canned and processed food

Cans contain an array of bisphenols that act similarly to estrogen and oppose the hormone adiponectin, thus increasing the size of fat cells and contributing to doubling the risk of diabetes. Cans containing “BPA-free” labels are not safe either as they contain a large number of bisphenols

3. Avoid thermal paper receipts
The receipts from cash registers and credit/debit machines contain the chemical BPA, which can be easily absorbed through your skin. Some companies have banned its usage in several of their products such as water bottles and food containers, but you can still find it in thermal paper receipts. It has been linked to an increase in breast and prostate cancers, cardiovascular disease and reproductive and brain development abnormalities.
Thermal paper discolors easily when scratched with a coin or paperclip. Try not to accept receipts and go paperless instead, but if you must handle them, hold it from the non-glossy backside. Beware when storing the receipts as the BPA rubs off easily on everything such as your pocket, wallet or purse. After handling the receipt, wash your hands with soap and water within 4 minutes, after which it would be too late. If your job requires your ongoing handling of receipts, wear latex gloves. Lastly, do not use a hand sanitizer after touching a possible thermal receipt. Research has shown the BPA level went up by 185% after using skin products such as sunscreens, moisturizer and sanitizers.

4. Beware of plastics
Plastics contain phthalates and parabens, which have various effects.

5. Create a healthy home
Flame-retardants and other organic pollutants found in electronic devices and furniture accumulate in your household as dust, and can interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. As such, easy and efficient ways to decrease exposure to such chemicals are by opening the windows regularly to filter the air in the house, vacuuming at least once per week and mopping the house with a wet mop.

6. Avoid non-sticking cooking pans
These types of pans contain a substance called perfluoroalkyl, best known as PFAS. They interfere with metabolism and have shown to induce rebound weight gain after a successful diet. An alternative would be to use cast iron or stainless steel cookware.

Takeaway message
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are all around us. They have drastic effects on our health and contribute significantly to the development of several non-communicable diseases. Taking control of our health and limiting our everyday exposure to such chemicals has been made easier by those six simple steps. It is never too late to take the reins in looking after our health.

The study is done based on the below references:
- Lee, Duk-Hee. "Evidence of the possible harm of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in humans: ongoing debates and key issues." Endocrinology and Metabolism 33.1 (2018): 44-52.
- Lee, Duk-Hee, et al. "Chlorinated persistent organic pollutants, obesity, and type 2 diabetes." Endocrine reviews 35.4 (2014): 557-601.
- Taylor, Kyla W., et al. "Evaluation of the association between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and diabetes in epidemiological studies: a national toxicology program workshop review." Environmental health perspectives 121.7 (2013): 774-783.
- Kusminski, Christine M., et al. "MitoNEET-driven alterations in adipocyte mitochondrial activity reveal a crucial adaptive process that preserves insulin sensitivity in obesity." Nature medicine 18.10 (2012): 1539.
- Curtis, Sandra. “Is BPA on Thermal Paper A Health Risk?” Plastic Pollution Coalition, Plastic Pollution Coalition, 23 Dec. 2016, www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2016/12/23/is-bpa-on-thermal-pape....
- Vandenberg, Laura, et al. “Let's Talk EDCs.” Endocrine Society, Endocrine Society, 2019, www.endocrine.org/topics/edc/talking-edcs.
- Trasande, Leonardo. “Avoiding Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: 5 Tips.” Medscape, Medscape, 7 Feb. 2020, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/924846.

This study is a general guideline intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. It is prepared based on information and data available in the references above. GlobeMed neither undertakes nor guarantees that such information is complete and error-free. GlobeMed will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.

Monday, December 19, 2016 - 11:44

 

GlobeMed Egypt and Egyptian Takaful Insurance Company, member of Gulf Insurance Group (GIG), have signed a Third Party Administration Agreement (TPA) effective from October 15, 2016. The agreement will allow Egyptian Life Takaful as a major player in the health insurance sector in Egypt to benefit from GlobeMed Egypt’s vast healthcare benefits management experience and state-of-the-art technologies targeted to streamline and enhance the delivery of health services to insured members.

 

Egyptian Life Takaful Company is the first established Takaful life insurance company in the Egyptian market and has wide geographical distribution nationwide, with a portfolio exceeding 50,000 insured members. The company’s shareholders include the most prestigious banks in Egypt with Gulf Insurance Company being the major shareholder.

 

Commenting on this cooperation, Jad Mouawad, General Manager of GlobeMed Egypt, said “We welcome Egyptian Takaful on board.It was only natural for our companies to join forces.  We believe that this new endeavor will bring forth new health services and solutions to the Egyptian market for the benefit of the insured members”.

 

The cooperation constitutes a strategic step for both companies, holding a great promise of success and progress in a highly competitive industry.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 08:25

 

True to our promise “Always by your Side”, GlobeMed Egypt welcomes members today in 7 new field offices at major hospitals across Egypt including:

·        Air Force Hospital

·        Al Nakhil Hospital

·        As- Salam International Hospital

·        Cleopatra Hospital

·        Dar El Fouad Hospital

·        El Nozha International Hospital

·        Misr International Hospital

Because your health matters, our field representative is present to assist and support you in our field offices to:

·        Facilitate admission approval process

·        Coordinate access to services with providers

·        Resolve any on-the-spot issues & complaints

·        Answer all enquiries related to insurance policy and services 

Visit GlobeMed Egypt’s field offices, our representative is at your service. 

Monday, August 1, 2016 - 12:25

 

In its continuous efforts to promote activity and healthy lifestyle, GlobeMed Egypt participated in the 11th edition of “The Employer’s Corporate Team Building Football Tournament” as silver sponsor. The tournament gathered 64teams from different businesses and organizations in the Egyptian market and lasted throughout the holy month of Ramadan. Games were played at the TolipEl Narges Resort & SPA fields in New Cairo.

On the pitch, GlobeMed Egypt Football Team played 6 games and registered 2 wins, displaying great team work. Not only did the players enjoy themselves, so did the spectators who watched exciting games and competition between participating teams. In the Process, GlobeMed Egypt won the “Best Cheering Company” award for spreading a very lively atmosphere at the tournament.

It was an all-round successful tournament for all involved with GlobeMed Egypt scoring its goal of promoting physical activity for a better and healthier life.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 10:02

 

GlobeMed Egypt is glad to announce its cooperation with As-Salam International Hospital to better serve its insured members. GlobeMed Egypt cardholders can now benefit from Unilab Center services for lab tests inside the hospital and dispense their medications at the hospital’s pharmacy.

GlobeMed Egypt and As-Salam International Hospital a relation of trust in the service of patients.

For more information, call GlobeMed Egypt hotline 16483.

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 09:29

GlobeMed Academy has been redesigned to provide you with a new standard for your e-learning experience, and much more.

 

Check it out and learn about the latest trends in customer service, change management and much more!

 

www.globemedacademy.com

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 14:08

September, 2013 in Cairo, GlobeMed Egypt partners with Arope, Misr Insurance, and Orient Takaful to provide complete Healthcare Benefits Management services.

 

June, 2013 in Cairo, GlobeMed Egypt acquires Solb Misr for complete Healthcare Benefits Management services as a self-funded scheme. 

 

March, 2013 in Cairo, Metlife Alico signs with GlobeMed Egypt to provide all of its medical portfolio with Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) services leveraging on the online connectivity GlobeMed has established with pharmacies all accross Egypt. 

 

June 10, 2013 in Doha, the SCH announced that GlobeMed has been chosen, as part of the consortium, to serve the universal health program that will be gradually introduced to all nationals and residents of Qatar.

 

Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 15:27

 

GlobeMed Egypt is now ready to start serving clients.

Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 15:35

 

The driving force of GlobeMed has always been delivering high quality service to its customers. With this value inside, we have been the main sponsors for the Second Regional Forum For Medical Insurance and Healthcare that was held for the first time in Egypt.

 

The forum tackled the proposed Integration between insurance companies and healthcare management companies. The increasing demand on medical insurance in Egypt has driven GlobeMed to focus on the importance of service excellence offered to the insured members.  Insurance companies along with healthcare providers shall work in parallel to support the development of the healthcare sector for the good of the insured member.

 

The dire need of reforming the healthcare sector in Egypt drove such guests Mr. Abdel Raouf Kotb Head of Egyptian insurance union and Mr. Ahmed El Sayed Minister of Finance Advisor to attend. The main stakeholders namely insurance and health care companies, providers of medical services, insurance brokers and reinsurance companies were keen on contributing “Towards providing better service”.