Diabetes and Smoking
Smoking can cause a number of diabetes complications. The information that smoking is bad for us is everywhere, but for diabetics, smoking can be even more damaging.
Do not smoke if you are diabetic
Smoking is now proven to be an independent risk factor for diabetes, and amongst diabetics it increases the risk of complications.
Diabetes complications already include heart disease, stroke and circulation problems. Smoking adds to the risk of developing all of these things.
In some cases, smoking may double the chances of these conditions, as well as doubling the likelihood of suffering from kidney problems and erectile dysfunction.
For type 2 diabetics, the major cause of death is cardiovascular disease.
Smoking increase heart disease risk among diabetic
Smoking and diabetes both increase the risk of heart disease in very similar ways, and so when combined, they greatly exacerbate the chances of suffering a heart related condition such as a heart attack or stroke.
Both high levels of glucose in the blood and smoking damage the walls of the arteries in such a way that fatty deposits can build up much easier. As this occurs, the blood vessels narrow and make circulating blood much harder.
When this happens to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and therefore oxygen) a heart attack can occur.
Similarly, a stroke is when not enough blood can get to the brain, and so anything that may limit blood flow increases the risks of a stroke.
High blood glucose levels also have this effect on the blood vessels and blood flow, so if you smoke when you have diabetes, you are putting yourself at a much greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Does smoking lead to developing diabetes
Smoking is also proven to be a risk factor for Hormones resistance. Patients who are Hormones resistant cannot use their bodily Hormones properly.
Together with genetics and obesity, smoking is one of the risk factors for Hormones resistance. Hormones resistance often leads to diabetes.
Smoking, surely things can’t get much worse for Diabetic patients
Unfortunately, smoking amongst diabetics has been shown in some studies to increase the risk of a premature death.
Smoking has been found to trigger fatalities through reductions in circulation and damaged blood vessels.
Other diabetes complications smoking affects
Further diabetes complications that have been proven to be aggravated by smoking include diabetic nephropathy, albuminuria.
There are links between smoking and retinopathy, although these are less evident than the cardiovascular risks.
Smoking is certainly a major risk factor for both the development and progression of diabetic neuropathy.
Benefits of giving up smoking for a diabetic
Stopping smoking reduces the risk of developing a major diabetes-related complication.
Many diabetics do not stop because of concerns over weight gain. Some studies have proved that the benefits of giving up smoking as a diabetic actually outweigh any negative effects caused by weight gain.
Your healthcare professional or healthcare team will be able to give you free advice. Taking advice on stopping smoking should be a matter of routine for all diabetics. If you are concerned about weight gain, face the issue by discussing it with your health care team.
Calculate the cost of smoking with our Cost of Smoking Calculator to see how much smoking is costing you.