Smoking and diabetes. According to studies, people who smoke are 30%-40% more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes. If you already have diabetes, smoking can make diabetes management challenging.

Let us learn more about the relationship between smoking and diabetes. 

How does smoking cause diabetes?

The active substance in all tobacco products is nicotine. Studies show that it causes an increase in blood glucose and may lead to type 2 diabetes. But how? 

  • Nicotine interferes with how our body cells respond to insulin. This harmful substance causes insulin resistance, the main trigger for type 2 diabetes. 
  • As nicotine harms body cells, it also causes inflammation. This affects how the cells use insulin for blood sugar regulation. 
  • Heavy smokers may gain more weight in the belly area. Fat accumulation around this body section increases the risk for type 2 diabetes. 

How does smoking complicate diabetes? 

If you have diabetes, constant nicotine consumption from smoking can make it harder to control and stabilize blood sugar levels. In uncontrolled diabetes, smoking can cause severe damage to some bodily functions.

Some of the diabetes-related complications that are triggered by smoking are:

  •  Heart disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Eye problems
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Nerve damage
  • Increased insulin resistance
  • Hypertension 
  • Stroke 

How quitting smoking can help

If you don’t have diabetes, your blood sugar levels will improve as soon as you quit smoking. Furthermore, diabetes patients will have an easier time managing their blood sugar once they get rid of this habit. The body will start healing automatically and show positive results in a few days.

What is the Solution?

Quitting smoking can be challenging at first. You will likely experience withdrawal symptoms, irritability, mood swings, restlessness, headaches, anxiety, and an urge or desperation to smoke. However, you can enroll in a smoking cessation program to address this problem. The program includes a combination of counseling and medication to help you navigate through this problem effortlessly.