Smoking has become a major burden for health. Along with lungs-related disorders, it develops many chronic diseases in the body. Smoking not only affects the smoker but the persons surrounding the smoker are affected too due to the toxic chemicals in the smoke released from cigarette.
In case of diabetes, smoking is much riskier. It can bring on illness associated with diabetes much earlier, causing disability and death. Smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And people with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their disease.
HOW CAN SMOKING WORSEN DIABETES?
Smoking affects blood circulation by increasing heart rate and blood pressure and by making small blood vessels narrower. Smoking also makes blood cells and blood-vessel walls sticky, and allows dangerous fatty material to build up. This can lead to heart attack, stroke and other blood vessel disease.
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.
COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH SMOKING UNDER DIABETES
Smokers with diabetes have higher risks for serious complications, including:
- Heart and kidney disease
- Poor blood flow in the legs and feet that can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation (removal of a body part by surgery, such as toes or feet)
- Retinopathy (an eye disease that can cause blindness)
- Peripheral neuropathy (damaged nerves to the arms and legs that causes numbness, pain, weakness, and poor coordination)
SMOKING CAN LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF DIABETES
Smoking is also proven to be a risk factor for insulin resistance. Patients who are insulin resistant cannot use their bodily insulin properly. Together with genetics and obesity; smoking is one of the risk factors for insulin resistance. It is well known that insulin resistance is a major reason behind the development of diabetes.
WHY QUITTING IS SO HARD?
It’s not easy to give up smoking. To understand why it’s so hard, and to develop ideas about how to go about giving up, it helps to understand the nature of smoking addiction. The addictive part of smoking can be divided into three parts:
- Addiction to nicotine
- Habit (e.g. always smoking after a meal)
- Feelings (particular feelings that trigger the urge to smoke)
Some people are addicted in all three ways and some are not. If you find it really hard to give up, chances are you may have the lot.
HOW TO QUIT?
Most people who quit smoking successfully go through following three stages:
- Building up the determination to quit
- Stopping or gradually reducing the number of cigarettes smoked each day
- Learning new coping skills, eg. saying “no” to friends when they offer you a smoke, recognizing triggers to smoke and dealing with them
How long these three stages take depends on you. Once you’ve quit the next step is to stay off. The first three months or so after quitting are the hardest time. During those first three months, you break the physical addiction but do not yet lose their psychological dependence on cigarettes.
HOW CAN DIABETES BE PREVENTED & TREATED?
- Don’t smoke: Smoking increases your chance of having type 2 diabetes.
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese because it has been observed that unhealthy lipid profile greatly affect the activity of pancreatic beta cells which ultimately result in increase in blood sugar levels.
- Stay active: Physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults who are at high risk for the disease. It is recommended that regular physical activity of at least 30 minutes help to control circulating blood sugar levels.
Diabetes treatment and management can include:
- A healthy diet which contains lesser amount of carbohydrates should be consumed so that blood glucose levels are affected to very lesser extent. Try to choose your diet on the basis of glycaemic index which shows the carbohydrate content of your diet.
- Medicines to control blood sugar by helping the body use insulin better. It is better to choose herbal supplements such as Fenfuro (fenugreek seed extract), which are free of side effects as well as clinically proven to effectively manage diabetes.
- Patient education to address problem-solving and coping skills needed to help manage diabetes and its complications
- Cholesterol and blood pressure levels should also be controlled as they could also worsen diabetes.
- Self management of diabetes is proven to be an effective tool to control diabetes.
CHOICE IS YOURS BUT DON’T BE LATE