We can confidently assume that most of us have never thought, “Oh yay, it’s time to clean my toilet again!” That’s especially true if you notice your bowl needs to be scrubbed more and more often with frequent mold and mildew sightings. Apparently, the issue might not be caused by the toilet itself… It could be a sign you should make an appointment to get your blood sugar checked.
OK, we know this sounds strange, but as Jeanne Huber explained in an article for The Washington Post, it’s not all that farfetched. She recently responded to a question from someone who claimed that despite installing their commode only a few years earlier (and the fact that modern toilets usually have clear seals to avoid this problem), it still needed constant cleaning. They also claimed to be a professional home cleaner who has “cleaned thousands of toilets,” but never ran into a can that required so much mildew control. Obviously, they were pretty desperate for a solution.
“It may have nothing to do with the toilet design, but may actually be a tip that someone in your house may have undiagnosed diabetes or diabetes that is not under good control,” Huber wrote. Say what? We have a feeling that was not what the person expected to hear when they wrote in with their toilet woes.
Huber went on to explain that a higher level of glucose (which is “an ideal food for mildew”) showing up in urine could be the culprit. The Mayo Clinic backs this up saying, “When your kidneys can’t keep up, the excess glucose is excreted into your urine, dragging along fluids from your tissues.” This can also make a person feel dehydrated, which then makes them drink more fluids and, of course, causes them to make more trips to the bathroom — making this a surprisingly likely cause for persistent mold and mildew. In fact, you might end up thinking the messy issue was actually a blessing in disguise if it helps you catch a diabetes diagnosis early on and get proper treatment ASAP.
However, if you find out everyone using your toilet on a regular basis has totally normal blood sugar levels, Huber says it might be an problem with mineral buildup. Although most newer toilets have that clear coating to ward it from gathering up in the bowl, there’s a chance that protective layer has worn away. In this case, you can try using white vinegar and baking soda to loosen up the mineral deposits. Just be careful to use small amounts and avoid your toilet overflowing like the science project volcano models we made as kids.
Otherwise, keep this unexpected sign from your bathroom in mind to help make sure you’re staying healthy and maintaining a good blood sugar balance.