Mold is a type of fungi that grows and thrives in damp environments. In nature, molds work to break down plant and animal matter.
Molds can also be found indoors. You’ll often see them in areas exposed to higher levels of moisture, such as bathrooms and kitchens. In fact, you’ve probably come across a ring of mold in your toilet at one time or another.
There’s a theory that frequent mold in your toilet could be a sign of diabetes. This is because the urine of someone who has diabetes can contain high levels of sugar that the mold uses as food. Keep reading to learn more.
There aren’t any scientific studies that directly link the presence of toilet mold with diabetes.
However, it’s possible that noticing persistent buildup of mold in your toilet could mean that you, or someone in your household, could have undiagnosed or poorly managed diabetes. Here’s why.
Glycosuria in diabetes
People with diabetes can have high levels of sugar (glucose) in their urine. This is called glycosuria. An individual is typically said to have too much glucose in their urine when glucose levels in a urine sample are
Typically, the kidneys reabsorb sugar and return it into the bloodstream. However, because people with diabetes can have high blood sugar levels, not all of it can be reabsorbed. This extra sugar is released into the urine.
Extra sugars are typically only found in urine when blood sugar levels are at
Glycosuria can also increase the frequency of urination. This is because the extra sugar in the urine can draw more water, causing the bladder to fill faster.
Glycosuria and mold
You may be wondering how glycosuria may be related to toilet mold. Let’s break this down into more detail.
Molds can be present in areas frequently exposed to moisture, including the toilet bowl. Additionally, they can use sugars like glucose as a food source.
Because people with diabetes can have glycosuria, molds in a toilet may use this sugar as food. Additionally, due to the fact that people with diabetes may also urinate frequently, mold can be exposed to these sugars more regularly.
The combination of these factors is believed to create an environment where molds can grow and thrive. Therefore, people with undiagnosed or poorly managed diabetes could notice mold rings in their toilet more often.
When considering toilet mold and diabetes, keep in mind that no scientific studies have linked the two so far. Buildup of toilet mold often happens due to environmental factors that don’t have to do with your health.
Mold can come in a variety of colors including green, white, and black.
You may have heard the terms “black mold” and “toxic mold” used together. While it’s true that some molds do produce toxins, color isn’t an indicator of how dangerous a mold is.
When people refer to toxic mold, they’re typically talking about Stachybotrys atra. This is a mold that’s dark green or black in color. It may appear tarry or slimy.
However, it’s unlikely that this is the type of mold in your toilet. That’s because it typically only grows on materials such as wood, paper, and ceiling tiles.
Other types of mold are more commonly found indoors and some may also be dark green or black in color. According to the
Can mold cause health problems?
Most molds aren’t harmful to humans. In some individuals, mold can cause health problems, particularly when it reaches high levels. Symptoms include:
It’s relatively common to see a pink ring in your toilet. What does this mean?
While a pink ring in your toilet may be caused by mold, it can also happen due to a type of bacteria called Serratia marcescens. These bacteria thrive in damp environments and make a pigment that’s pink, orange, or red in color.
It’s also possible that a pink toilet ring may be caused by iron found in the water due to old pipes. If this is the cause, it will typically impact all of the toilets in your house.
It’s likely that mold in your toilet is due to the environment of the bathroom itself. Because toilet bowls are perpetually wet, the growth of mold is encouraged. Bathrooms can also contain sinks and showers that contribute to moisture as well.
Additionally, molds feed on nutrients that they get from plant and animal matter. Within a toilet bowl, they can have access to these nutrients in the form of urine and feces.
Many times, toilet rings can develop when water is allowed to stand for a long time. This is why you typically see toilet rings close to the water line in the toilet bowl. Stains may also appear in the area when water flushes along the sides of the bowl.
You can do several things to prevent mold from growing in your toilet. These include:
- cleaning your toilet regularly using a brush and a toilet bowl cleaner
- flushing toilets daily that are used less frequently
- running the bathroom fan while showering
- keeping your bathroom ventilated
- promptly cleaning leaks or spills
If you’ve noticed frequent mold buildup in your toilet and are concerned about diabetes, you may be wondering about what signs and symptoms of diabetes to look out for. These can include:
- frequent urination
- increased thirst
- increased hunger
- blurry vision
- feeling numbness and tingling (“pins and needles”) in your hands or feet
- unintentional weight loss
- slow wound healing
While symptoms of type 1 diabetes may come on quickly, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes can develop more slowly. Therefore, you may not know you have diabetes until you have diabetes-related health problems.
Most people who develop type 2 diabetes have prediabetes. This is when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but aren’t high enough to diagnose diabetes. Prediabetes typically has no symptoms.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of diabetes, see a medical professional.
It’s also a good idea to get tested for diabetes if you have one or more risk factors for diabetes. These include:
- Age: Being aged 45 or over is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.
- Family history: If other people in your family have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be more likely to develop it as well.
- Low physical activity: Being physically active helps you to manage your weight and to use up sugars in your blood.
- Race or ethnicity: Racism and healthcare disparities can be a contributing factor for why certain groups are more likely to develop diabetes. The following groups have an increased risk:
- African Americans
- Hispanics or Latinos
- Asian Americans
- Native Americans
- Certain health conditions: Some health conditions increase the risk of diabetes. These include:
- being overweight or obese
- low HDL cholesterol
- previously having gestational diabetes
Tests for diabetes
There are a variety of tests to determine if you have prediabetes or diabetes, such as:
- A1C: An A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels in the past 3 months.
- Fasting plasma glucose: A fasting plasma glucose test measures your blood sugar at a single point in time after a period of fasting.
- Random plasma glucose test: A random plasma glucose test also measures your blood sugar at a single point in time. However, you don’t have to fast beforehand.
- Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT): An OGTT measures your blood sugar both before and after drinking a sweetened drink. It gives your doctor information on how your body processes sugar.
You may have heard that frequent mold buildup in your toilet can signal diabetes. This is because mold that’s growing in a toilet may feed on extra sugar that can be present in the urine of people with diabetes.
However, there’s currently no scientific evidence that links mold in your toilet with diabetes. The environment of the toilet itself can promote mold growth. Factors like poor ventilation and infrequent cleaning or flushing can also contribute.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of diabetes, see a health professional to have your blood sugar tested. Additionally, if you have one or more diabetes risk factors, you should receive regular diabetes screenings.