Smoking And Diabetes A Deadly Combination

Is smoking and diabetes a deadly combination. Diabetes is the leading cause of major health complications today, smoking increases the risk of many cases.

It’s worth having a test kit at home here’s a link to the one I have, it’s small, simple and comes with everything you need to get started (Click here to check the price).

What is diabetes

Diabetes, specifically type 2 (which is the most common form of diabetes) is a condition when blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Usually, when a person eats food this food turns into glucose which our cells then use as energy.

It’s the pancreases job to release insulin to push this glucose into our cells. The problem arises when your body does not produce enough insulin or can’t use the insulin that well.

This leads to less glucose getting into the cells and it then builds up in the blood.

How diabetes is treated

Once diabetes is diagnosed it is treated in several ways. One of the first treatments is diet change and exercise. This is to get some control over weight management, but this usually only if the individual is overweight.

The condition needs to be managed well but usually gets worse as times goes by. Drugs such as metformin are prescribed to control blood sugar levels. This then often progresses to other drugs and eventually insulin, which is taken by injection or an insulin pump.

Often other medicines need to be prescribed along side for blood pressure control and cholesterol.

What it the link between smoking and diabetes

Roughly 30 – 40% of smokers are likely to develop diabetes compared to nonsmokers. Worse still people with diabetes and who are smokers are much more likely to have trouble controlling their diabetes.

Around 26 million people in the US have diabetes, and around 7 million of those don’t know they have it.

diabetes testing

If you have diabetes and smoke, you are much more likely to have complications, heart and kidney disease, poor circulation. Especially to the eyes, kidneys, hands and feet, this can lead to amputations, blindness and nerve damage.

If you are a smoker with diabetes it is especially important for you to quit as soon as possible to gain as much control over your diabetes as you can.

Does smoking make it more likely to develop diabetes

Smoking increases the risk of developing diabetes because it makes it harder for your body to control your sugar levels. The more you smoke the higher your chance of developing diabetes.

If you Smoke you have up to 40% chance of developing diabetes compared to a nonsmoker. Some of the testings conducted concluded that nicotine raised blood sugar levels up around 10%, which is what makes
smoking and diabetes a deadly combination.

Once you have quit smoking your risk of developing diabetes also goes down and continues to go down the longer you remain smoke-free.

Why is smoking and diabetes a deadly combination?

If you are a smoker and have diabetes your risk of organ damage, heart attack and stroke also increase significantly.

Smoking and diabetes increases your risk to.

  • Kidney damage – smoking doubles your risk compared to non-smokers
  • Eye damage knows as retinopathy – smoking reduces the blood circulation to the tiny vessels in the eye, this leads to damage in the light sensing cells and can lead to loss of vision.
  • Pancreatic cancer – being diabetic and smoking will increase your chances of developing pancreatic cancer, which is in 95% of cases fatal.
  • Heart attack and stroke – Both being a smoker and being diabetic is a major risk factor. Quitting smoking and controlling your diabetes is important to lower your risks of either heart attack or stroke.

Will quitting smoking affect my diabetes

The short answer is yes it will affect your diabetes. As nicotine leaves the body the liver slows the process of removing insulin and metformin from the body. This means any diabetic medication you are taking may be removed at a slower rate.

This could lead to your blood sugar levels going lower then you are used to. If you are diabetic and usually test your blood sugar levels, you may need to check them more regularly, to ensure that the blood sugar levels do not drop too low.

Keep testing on a more regular basis until they restabilize. After that, you can go back to testing according to your usual routine.

Can diabetics use nicotine replacement therapy

There are no known issues with diabetics using nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches, lozenges or gum. If you are on other medication it is always best to check with your Dr first!

There are many things that you may not have known, if you are a smoker and not diabetic it is best to have a monthly check of your sugar levels. This is usually done via a small machine and a pinpricked sample of blood applied to a test strip.

It can be done at home and is often the most convenient way to do it as you have to do it pre-breakfast in a fasted state.

There are many other health considerations other than diabetes, here’s a link to some of them.

Diabetic testing kit

Check out this the test kit it, comes with everything you need to get started (Click here to check the price).

Everything you need to keep a regular check on your blood sugar levels, needles, test strips and full instructions on how to use it are fully included. You get the results within 5 seconds. No having to hang around the nurse’s office.

Additional reading

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