The Impact of Smoking if You Have Diabetes

It is well known that smoking is an all-around detriment to your general health. However, if you have type 2 diabetes, smoking can have a significant negative impact on your pre-existing symptoms. Smoking can directly cause type 2 diabetes. This fact alone should deter anyone from lighting up a cigarette again, especially those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes. The consequence is so dire, it is estimated that nearly half of smokers with type 2 diabetes will face an early death. According to the CDC, smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. That is an alarming rate. The more cigarettes you smoke, the more you put yourself at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have type 2 diabetes and you smoke, you dramatically increase your chances of developing other symptoms as well.

Smoking will lead to increased levels of hemoglobin, which will ultimately lead to blocked or constricted blood flow throughout the arteries. This can cause extreme measures to be taken, such as amputation or heart attack. Smoking has also been linked to heart and kidney disease, peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage in limbs), and retinopathy (an eye disease that can lead to eventual blindness). The risk of developing lung cancer for an individual with type 2 diabetes is significantly higher than a non-diabetic. Also, women with diabetes have an even higher risk of developing lung cancer (nearly 80%) than female smokers without diabetes. Men do not show the same drastic spike in developing lung cancer, however, there is still an increase.

While the benefits of quitting smoking are well known, it should be recognized as well that cigarette alternatives such as e-cigarettes, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc. are not safe alternatives to smoking. Nicotine has been proven to worsen symptoms for an individual diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Quitting smoking is the best way to alleviate many symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes. Your overall health will improve, and your body will react immediately. Battling diabetes is difficult on its own but battling cigarette addiction on top of that can be very difficult. Quitting cold turkey is the hardest but most beneficial option — Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for professional assistance for quitting smoking. Having better control over your blood sugar levels could save your life. The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner you reap the rewards.