If you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products and have diabetes, listen up: smoking makes your diabetes worse.
Smoking doubles your risk of getting heart disease, one of the most common complications of type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes who smoke are three times more likely to die of heart disease than those with diabetes who don't use cigarettes.
If you don’t have diabetes, smoking can raise your risk of getting the condition. Studies shows that people who smoke cigarettes have a three times higher chance of developing diabetes than a non-smoker.
The Dangers of Smoking with Diabetes
People with diabetes already have a high risk for heart problems. They are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without the disease. Smoking cigarettes increases this risk and diabetes-related other risk factors. Using cigarettes:
· Increases blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
· Reduces oxygen flow and causes blood clots, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
· Raises blood sugar levels, making diabetes more difficult to manage.
· Ups the risk for other complications like nerve damage, kidney failure and blindness.
· Decreases blood flow to the feet. This can lead to foot infections, ulcers and even amputation.
What’s more, smoking cigarettes is linked with lung, throat, mouth, and bladder cancers.
How to Quit
Quitting cigarettes is a must for good blood sugar control. Even if you've smoked for years, quitting now can have an immediate impact on your health. Research shows that insulin resistance can improve just 8 weeks after quitting smoking.
Following these tips can help you kick the cigarette habit for good:
· Work with your doctor. Most people who smoke cigarettes are addicted to nicotine and the behavior of smoking. Your doctor can recommend nicotine replacement products and offer tips that will lead to successful behavior change.
· Pick a quit date. Choose a time when stress levels are low. Don’t try to quit around the holidays or when you have a big project due at work. Let your friends and family know your quit date so they can be prepared to cheer you on.
· Write down your reasons for quitting. When you get the urge to smoke, revisit this list.
· Be prepared for cravings. Keep gum or lollipops on hand and reach for them when you want a cigarette.
· Avoid trigger situations. If you always smoke in the kitchen with your morning cup of coffee, change your routine. Drink your coffee at your desk instead. Steer clear of places where people are smoking.
· Expect setbacks. Most people make several attempts at quitting before they’re successful. Acknowledge the slip-up, and try again.