Smoking with Diabetes

So I have been slowly cutting down on that 1 pack of ciggs a day, and now I have gotten to 2 ciggs per day! That’s great, right?
Well, according to non-smokers and the doctors, it still isn’t good enough. That sucks! Especially because I live with Type 1 Diabetes and have been a full-time smoker for the last 8 years. I have never noticed how much that 5-minute-smoke-break affected my blood sugar levels.

Here are the biggest reasons why mixing diabetes with smoking is a very bad idea:

  • You are more likely to get nerve damage (neuropathy). This is because smoking affects your blood circulation and that in turn means your nerve endings are not getting the nutrients they need. If this happens to the nerves in your feet it could lead to sores and infections and, if not taken care of properly, even amputation.
  • There is an increased risk – double in fact -of you getting limited mobility in your joints. It’s no fun trying to bend, climb stairs or lift something when you have a painful joint.
  • Because of smoking you could develop kidney disease.
  • When you smoke your blood pressure increases. Increased blood pressure creates a real risk of heart disease.
  • Research has shown that diabetics who smoke increase, 3-fold, the risk of dying of heart (cardiovascular) disease.
  • By smoking you increase your blood-sugar levels. This makes it more difficult to control your diabetes because your glucose levels could be fluctuating quite dramatically. This, in turn, leads to other problems.
  • And it also increases your cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of a heart attack.

And, of course, on top of all that there’s the proven risk of cancer! But perhaps more importantly, research suggests that nicotine replacement products (such as patches and nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes) aren’t a safe option for diabetes patients either. Because they still contain nicotine, these products are just as likely to boost A1c levels in diabetics as cigarettes are. Xiao-Chuan Liu, a professor of chemistry at the California State Polytechnic University says that “In order to minimize your chances of developing diabetes or diabetic complications, you need to quit smoking.”

Even it means going cold turkey. Egh! I guess have to abide to my new New Years Resoultion and finally quit smoking.