7 Reasons Why Smoking is Even More Hazardous for Diabetics


Smoking is a well-established health hazard, contributing to a multitude of diseases and complications. For individuals with diabetes, the risks associated with smoking become even more pronounced.

Here are seven compelling reasons why the combination of diabetes and smoking is a particularly perilous mix:

1. Increased Risk of Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

Smoking has a detrimental impact on blood circulation, leading to a decreased supply of nutrients to nerve endings. For diabetics, this poses an elevated risk of developing neuropathy, particularly in the feet.

Nerve damage may result in sores, infections, and, in severe cases, even the need for amputation if not managed properly.

2. Higher Risk of Joint Mobility Issues

Diabetics who smoke face a doubled risk of experiencing limited mobility in their joints. Painful joints can significantly impair daily activities such as bending, climbing stairs, or lifting objects, affecting the overall quality of life.

3. Increased Likelihood of Kidney Disease

Smoking is a significant contributor to the development of kidney disease. For diabetics, who already face an elevated risk of kidney complications, smoking exacerbates the danger and can lead to severe renal issues.

4. Elevated Blood Pressure

Smoking is known to increase blood pressure levels. For individuals with diabetes, maintaining optimal blood pressure is crucial to prevent heart disease. The heightened blood pressure resulting from smoking poses an additional risk to cardiovascular health.

5. Tripled Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Research indicates that diabetics who smoke are three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease. Smoking compounds the existing cardiovascular risks associated with diabetes, emphasizing the urgent need for individuals to quit smoking for the sake of their heart health.

6. Disruption of Blood Sugar Control

Smoking contributes to increased blood-sugar levels, making it challenging for diabetics to control their glucose levels effectively. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can lead to various complications, further complicating diabetes management.

7. Elevated Cholesterol Levels

Smoking not only raises blood pressure but also increases cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol. High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart attacks, compounding the cardiovascular threats that diabetics already face.

In essence, smoking and passive smoking compromise the fundamental ABC’s of diabetes management:

  • A1C – the measurement of blood glucose over a three-month period is adversely affected by smoking.
  • Blood Pressure (B) – which should ideally be below 130/80, becomes harder to control due to the increased blood pressure caused by smoking.
  • Cholesterol Levels (C) – Cholesterol levels, including LDL, HDL, and triglycerides, are negatively influenced by smoking. Maintaining healthy levels becomes a greater challenge for diabetics who smoke.

Moreover, the proven association between smoking and various forms of cancer further underscores the urgent need for individuals with diabetes to kick the habit. Quitting smoking is a crucial step towards safeguarding overall health and mitigating the heightened risks that diabetics face when exposed to tobacco smoke.

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