Diabetes and Smoking : Why it's a bad combination for type 2 diabetics?

Diabetes and Smoking  Why it's a bad combination for type 2 diabetics


Smoking, even after being widely popular as a deadly habit, the number of active smokers are actually seems to be soaring up with time. Even with vast variety of advertisements, campaigns suggesting smoking is injurious to health, it seems people are still unaware or perhaps they (smokers) want to be unaware of the deadly potential of this life risking habit. 

According to a statistics, Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. While majority of them die due to direct contact with tobacco, but what's more surprising is that around 1.2 million deaths are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Now, that's something which is a clear indication of how injuries smoking is for health.

But, today we're not going to talk about the bad affects on general smokers. We'll be looking in detail at those set of people who are not just smokers but are diabetics as well.

Smoking and diabetes has been a pretty popular topic of conversations and why it shouldn't be, because as bad as smoking is for the average person, it’s even worse if you have diabetes. But, what makes diabetics different from an average person in terms of smoking. Why smoking is more injuries for people with diabetes. We'll be talking about this and more aspects that are related with smoking and diabetes in this article. Let's begin!!

How does smoking affect diabetes

Type 2 diabetes by itself puts you at lot of health complications including heart risk, blindness, kidney failure. With a condition that already affects many parts of your body, when you add smoking to the mix, it raises the risk of health complications even more.

Smoking might make your body more resistant to insulin, which can indeed lead to higher blood sugar levels. Nicotine alters the way your body can use glucose, the sugar in your blood that fuels your cells. It can also make managing the diabetes and regulating insulin levels more difficult because high levels of nicotine in blood might reduce the effectiveness of insulin, causing smokers to need more insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. 

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels due to smoking in diabetes can result in serious complications, if not treated timely.

Does nicotine affect diabetes

As mentioned above, Nicotine affects the chemical processes in your cells, so they don't respond to insulin properly and you might get into a condition known as insulin resistance.

Your body cells need insulin so they can take glucose out of your blood and use it for energy. When they can't, the glucose stays in your blood, and your blood sugar level goes up. Not just that, nicotine might also raise levels of hormones that fight insulin and can also push your body to make more triglycerides, a type of fat that is linked to insulin resistance. 

Does smoking affect blood sugar test

From the above given information, this can be easily concluded that smoking does affect the blood sugar levels. Even though it's not very clearly proven that smoking just before sugar test will 100% increase blood sugar levels in all diabetics. But, they might be connected. Hence, it's best to avoid it before going for a blood sugar test, so as to get accurate results in the report. 

Smoking before blood sugar test might affect the results by rapidly increasing blood sugar and in this way the correct and accurate body tendency of managing blood sugar may not be known.

Do cigarettes contain sugar

Effects of smoking on a diabetic is largely connected with the bad impact it has on the body. Without even digging deep into the biological effects of smoking, you're most likely aware that smoking is bad for your health. But, it's not just because of tobacco.

Some cigarettes contain natural and added sugars to reduce the harshness of smoke, making it easier to inhale and making it more worse for diabetics. This also intensifies the amount of harmful chemicals in smoke and the addictive potential of smoking. Not just that, Sugars also naturally occur in tobacco leaf and are also very commonly added to cigarettes by some tobacco companies. 

So, now we know how smoking affects diabetes and how it can potentially increase blood sugar levels in body. But, can it cause you develop diabetes if you're an average smoker. Let's find out.

Can smoking cause type 2 diabetes

Even though developing type 2 diabetes and smoking doesn't seem to be very directly related as developing diabetes is related with a bunch of other factors such as age, obesity, family history etc. But, it should be noted that regular smoking is also one such factor that might increase a person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

People with regular smoking habit are 30 to 40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. 

The chemicals used in cigarettes cause harm to your body’s cells and can intervene in their normal function. This can not just cause inflammation throughout the body but may also decrease the effectiveness of insulin.  

Not just that, when chemicals of the cigarette smoke meet oxygen in the body, this process can also lead to cell damage aka oxidative stress. Both oxidative stress and inflammation might put you at higher risk of developing diabetes.

Smoking cessation in type 2 diabetes

Given the way and magnitude at which smoking affects diabetes, the health benefits of quitting smoking in diabetes are very obvious. People with diabetes who quit smoking have better control of their blood sugar. As per some studies, insulin can start to work more effectively in diabetics and can start at lowering blood sugar levels eight weeks after a smoker quits.

But, it should be noted nicotine raises your blood sugar, hence if you using some smoking cessation aids that contain nicotine, such as nicotine patches or gum, your blood sugar might still remain elevated. Therefore, always consult a qualified professional doctor before consuming any sort of medicine or following any new health routine.

Can quitting smoking reverse diabetes?

Quitting smoking is one of the best thing that a diabetic can do for improving his/ her health, but it also doesn't mean that if you quit smoking, your diabetes will reverse or you'll become a non- diabetic again.

Quitting smoking can be extremely helpful in controlling blood sugar levels along with avoiding many other health complications that come along with this life-risking habit. Hence, Whether you have type 2 diabetes or not, the sooner you quit, the sooner your body can start to heal and the health benefits of quitting smoking in diabetes might get visible really soon!!

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