Impact of Smoking on Diabetes – How it Increases the Risk

You may have probably heard or seen the grim smoking-related statistics doing the rounds on various online platforms. Even if you are not aware of the number, you would still know that smoking is injurious to health. It harms every part of your body. It increases the risk of severe diseases like cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, etc., which can be potentially fatal.

As bad as smoking is for an average person, it is worse for those diagnosed with diabetes. It is a chronic condition that affects many parts of the body, and when you add smoking to the mix, it increases the risk of health complications even more.

Let us look at the impact of smoking on diabetes

Smoking increases the blood sugar levels

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it may be challenging to keep the blood sugar levels under check. And, if you have the habit of smoking, the task becomes even more difficult. Smoking or using tobacco products increases insulin resistance in the body, leading to higher blood sugar levels. If it is not controlled for long, it can lead to severe complications like stroke, heart attack, or similar.

Smoking increases the risk of heart diseases

Diabetes can affect the cardiovascular system, and if you smoke, the risk increases manifold. The double-burden on the heart can have fatal consequences. Research conducted by American Heart Association suggests that about 68% of adults aged more than 65 with diabetes, die due to heart diseases. And about 16% die because of stroke.

Smoking leads to respiratory issues

One of the most significant drawbacks of smoking is that it affects the lungs directly. If you are a chain smoker or addicted to tobacco, the habit can lead to serious consequences like chronic bronchitis and lung infection. And, if you already have diabetes, these infections can be hazardous. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, people with diabetes who smoke are three times more likely to die from pneumonia.

Smoking damages the eyes

Research suggests that people who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing eye diseases like cataract and glaucoma. If you cannot keep diabetes under check, it can lead to an eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy. If you have the habit of smoking, it can accelerate the development of the disease, and eventually lead to complete blindness.

What can you do to lower the risk?

To reduce the risk of smoking-related complications, it is advisable that you quit smoking at the earliest, and avoid consuming tobacco products altogether. Of course, it is easier said than done because smoking is addictive and hard to quit. But, you can start slowly and reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day, and set a goal for yourself to quit completely.

Experts recommend seeking the help of friends and family who can support you in your endeavour to quit smoking. Having a reliable and robust support system to help you and encourage you on your journey to go tobacco-free, can help you accomplish your mission more efficiently.

While you are trying to quit smoking, make sure that you improve your lifestyle and keep diabetes under control. Make sure to eat a healthy diet, indulge in exercise for about 30-40 minutes every day. This will help you control diabetes, help you lose weight, and promote overall fitness.