Smoking and diabetes are two words that should not be mentioned in the same breath or sentence. They are like oil and water, or appropriately, like gasoline and fire. Mix one with the other and stand back – like a Molotov cocktail inside the body. If you haven’t guessed it, there are significant effects of smoking on diabetes. And, in fact, smoking can even cause diabetes but more on that later.
The effects of smoking on diabetics is significant and there’s a good chance that they will experience the following health issues:
- Nerve damage
- Kidney disease
- Cardiovascular-related complications – diabetics that smoke increase their chances of heart trouble three-fold
- Increased blood sugar levels – smoking cigarettes increases blood sugar levels
- eye damage
Smoking and diabetes are two words that should not be mentioned in the same breath or sentence. They are like oil and water, or appropriately, like gasoline and fire. Mix one with the other and stand back – like a Molotov cocktail inside the body.
Female diabetics face even more danger from smoking cigarettes. Females that smoke can harm the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a group of ductless glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream that regulate the body and the body’s metabolism. The system carries information to various parts of the body through chemical messages and those messages are called hormones. Endocrine system glands include the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal and parathyroid glands, the pancreas, testes (male), ovaries (female) and kidneys.
One such hormone that is affected by smoking is estrogen. Smoking can lower estrogen levels which can cause early menopause. For diabetics that smoke, multiple the chance of developing an estrogen problem.
Other hormonal effects on diabetics that smoke include:
- body weight fluctuation
- inordinate distribution of body fat
- endocrine system cancer
Smoking Can Also Cause Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body is partially or completely unable to process insulin secreted by the pancreas. Smoking cigarettes is now known to cause Type 2 diabetes in men and women and is considered one of the most harmful side effects of smoking. In testing in Switzerland, it was found that smokers had a 44% better chance of developing Type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. Type 2 diabetes is typically controlled with a healthy diet, weight loss if the diabetic is overweight, exercise, and oral medications. Fifty percent or more of all Type 2 diabetics require insulin to control blood sugar levels.
Diabetics Should Quit Smoking
Since Type 2 diabetes already has a propensity for developing kidney dysfunction, heart disease, vision impairment, nerve damage, and liver damage, imagine the role that smoking plays with a diabetic. Smoking simply exacerbates a diabetics health.
Diabetics need to quit smoking and there are many ways to go about it.
Ways for diabetics to quit smoking include (please check with your physician first before taking any herb or medication):
- cold turkey
- isolating oneself on a remote island