The health risks of smoking are well known، and most smokers already know the risks they are taking. For people with diabetes، however، smoking is a serious risk factor for numerous health issues they may face. Smoking may even cause diabetes.
Quitting is the best course of action smokers can take for their health. However، some strategies may reduce the health effects for some of those with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes، accounting for at least 90 percent of cases worldwide.
Type 2 diabetes is also closely linked to certain lifestyle factors، including smoking. In fact، smokers are 30-40 percent more likely than non-smokers to develop diabetes. People who have diabetes already and who smoke are more likely to have uncontrolled diabetes.
Smoking damages cells and tissues، increasing inflammation. It also causes oxidative stress، which is when molecules called free radicals damage cells. Both these conditions are linked to an increased risk of diabetes. They can cause other health problems، as well، including cardiovascular disease.
Research further suggests that heavy smoking increases abdominal fat. Even in people who aren't obese or overweight، excess abdominal fat is a risk factor for diabetes.
The health risks of smoking are numerous، and researchers are constantly uncovering new health concerns associated with smoking. The habit of smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States، while more than 16 million Americans have a smoking-related disease.
Many of the combined health effects of smoking and diabetes may make it more difficult to make healthful lifestyle choices. For example، cardiovascular and lung problems can make exercise uncomfortable. Similarly، circulatory and nerve problems can cause chronic pain that leads to a sedentary lifestyle. These problems tend to make the symptoms of both smoking and diabetes worse.
How to lower the risk of smoking and diabetes There is no safe way to smoke، particularly with diabetes. The best way to lower the risk from smoking is to quit. Or if quitting is not possible، to dramatically cut down.
The following strategies may lower the risks associated with smoking and diabetes:
Exercise may lower the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke. It also supports good glucose metabolism، and can reduce the chance of obesity، which is another risk factor for diabetes. Healthful eating can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fiber intake is especially important for people with diabetes، because fiber helps lower blood sugar. Taking diabetes medications as prescribed. People with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to experience diabetes complications. Smoking compounds these risks. Cutting back on smoking. There's no safe number of cigarettes to smoke، but heavy smokers tend to suffer more extensive health problems. People with diabetes who smoke should consult a doctor before making any significant lifestyle changes.
Quitting smoking Smoking is an addiction. Quitting is difficult، but it significantly reduces the risks of short and long-term complications that are linked to smoking itself، diabetes، and the two combined.
Before quitting، smokers should consult their doctors to determine the best course of action.
Smokers with diabetes may need to change their diets، since smoking suppresses appetite and quitting can trigger the urge to overeat. A 2015 study found that people with diabetes who quit smoking might struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels.