Smoking and Diabetes


There are different types of diabetes. Smoking and diabetes is an overall reference to the effects of smoking cigarettes resulting in a diabetic condition in the smokers themselves. Diabetes is part of the many diseases caused by smoking and also rapidly progressed by smoking.

Before delving into the details of smoking and diabetes I just would like to set the stage right with some background information...

If a person has diabetes regardless of which type it is be it Type 1 or Type 2, it simply means they have too much glucose in their blood or blood sugar as it is commonly known.

Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are included in chronic diabetes conditions . Diabetes is potentially reversible when it is pre-diabetes. That is to say blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered as diabetes. Another reversible diabetes is gestational diabetes and occurs in women during pregnancy.

As an aside, it is dangerous for women to smoke while pregnant.

Before I introduce the connection between smoking and diabetes - a little more information to say. The cells that make up body muscles and other tissues in your body get their primary energy from glucose.

This glucose is supplied by the food a person eats and your liver. All things being normal and with the help of insulin, as digestion takes place sugar gets into the bloodstream by absorption.

The association between smoking and diabetes is undisputed. Different and numerous studies have thoroughly examined the link between the two and occurrences of glucose abnormalities. The results established are that smoking could be independently linked to glucose intolerance leading to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Two things happen in type 2 diabetes. Your body does not produce enough insulin or the cells disregards the insulin even when its been produced and available.

A research conducted in Switzerland by Dr Carole Willi and others, taped into the findings of up to 25 other previous researches. These previous researches were published between 1992 and 2006. Dr Carole Willi tracked over 1 million respondents for up to 30 years covered by the researches.

The results were astounding showing that smokers had a 44 percent increased chance of developing diabetes than the non-smokers. The risk was even higher for heavy smokers with a 61% increased chance than light smokers. Heavy smokers were considered to be those who smoked 20 plus cigarettes per day (at least a pack a day).

Further support to the link between smoking and diabetes is as follows. As recent as 2005 the United States federal government funded a research. It showed that among at least 900 non diabetic individuals tracked for half a decade, smokers had a near double likelihood of developing diabetes as compared to nonsmokers.

How does smoking really cause diabetes

In a person that does not have diabetes but then starts smoking; Smoking causes diabetes as it results in insulin resistance or inadequate yet necessary insulin secretion responses in the body.Insulin resistance has previously been shown to occur soon after smoking in smokers.

How does smoking really compound diabetes

Let's say someone is smoking and already has diabetes. Well there is something for them to consider too. In fact smoking worsens many conditions that people with diabetes already have to contend with.The actual tangible effects of cigarettes smoking to someone with diabetes are that;


# Cells become less responsive to insulin
# The already high risk of death from heart disease is compounded specifically in smokers with type 2 diabetes.
# There is heightened risk of diabetic complications by, for instance,increasing blood pressure.

Cigarette smoking also interferes with diabetes medication.In 2007 smokers and people who quit smoking in the last six months of that time could not benefit from the then recently approved inhaled insulin.

As it further relates to medication,Some companies that produce this medication have reported reduced effectiveness of diabetic medication in smokers by up to a one-third.

In future, more medication for diabetes will certainly be introduced which will possibly limit the benefits to recent and current smokers just like the examples above. Yet this might just be the medication to save a life.

Smoking and diabetes should be considered with care. People with diabetes and smoke are encouraged to quit smoking.Those with diabetes and haven't started are advised to never start. These are the apparent benefits of smoking cessation.

There are other dangers of smoking which are predominantly associated with diseases caused by smoking.





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