Diabetes and Smoking

Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for diabetes, respiratory disease, strokes and heart disease. One in ten persons smoke; the prevalence of smoking among persons with diabetes is not significantly different compared to the general population. Non-smokers live an average of eight to ten years longer than smokers with diabetes, mostly due to heart disease.

Smoking may decrease overall body weight but increases obesity around the abdomen which increases insulin resistance.  Cessation of smoking may cause weight gain of five to ten pounds due to a small decrease in metabolism, psychological factors and reversal of appetite suppression, but the benefits of cessation are greater than this inconvenience.

When you smoke you damage the cells of your pancreas in more than one way. There is also an increase in insulin resistance in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, more cigarettes smoked results in greater insulin resistance and higher blood glucose. Smoking can cause problems with fat metabolism causing raised lipids, elevate blood pressure and can worsen complications of diabetes such as kidney disease. Among persons with diabetes, smoking raises the risk of heart attack eleven-fold.

For optimal management of your diabetes health, we advise that you stop smoking and avoid weight gain with exercise and a healthy meal plan.

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