Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. However, as a person with diabetes, smoking carries special risks. You greatly increase the danger of diabetes-related complications.
Smoking interferes with the timing and effects of insulin, making it difficult to control blood glucose levels. In addition, it raises blood glucose levels and further contributes to poor blood glucose control.
In fact, diabetes patients who smoke are far more likely to suffer severe diabetes complications than their non-smoking counterparts.
• Smoking raises the risk of stroke by 50%.
• You are more likely to have a heart attack and three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
• Smoking damages and constricts blood vessels, which can increase complications with foot ulcers.
• You increase the risk of neuropathy by 2-12 times.
• The risk of kidney damage is increased by 40%.
• You are more likely to suffer from serious diabetic retinopathy.
• You have an 11 times higher risk of early death.
Kicking the habit is not a simple task, but the benefits make the work worth the effort. According to the American Diabetes Association there are several key things to keep in mind when quitting smoking:
• Stay motivated. Remind yourself hourly why you are quitting and of the many personal benefits.
• Have a plan. Some people prefer cold turkey while others prefer gradual reduction. Pick a specific plan that will work for you and stick to it.
• Plot a schedule. Arrange your activities to make it easier for you to stay off cigarettes. Plan a number of diversions or activities to replace that cigarette when a strong urge hits.
• Ask for help. Smoking is a addiction. Many people find that it helps to use nicotine replacement or a prescription drug that can reduce the symptoms of tobacco withdrawal. When used as instructed by your doctor as part of a comprehensive quit-smoking plan, these medications can be safe and effective.
• Don’t give up. If you slip or are not able to quit entirely right away, review your plan and consider tweaking your strategy. Continued motivation and support are crucial to long-term success. Talk to your doctor or Diabetes Shoppe pharmacist about what’s working and what’s not.
As a person with diabetes, you have the potential for many serious health complications. Smoking only increases these risks. Kicking the habit can help you live a longer, healthier life.