Diabetes and Smoking: A Bad Combination
Smoking can increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke. It’s even more dangerous for people with diabetes than for those in the general public.
Here are some facts about smoking with diabetes.
- Smoking can cut the amount of oxygen reaching tissues, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Smoking increases your cholesterol levels and the levels of other fats in your blood. This also increases your risk of having a heart attack.
Your Blood Sugar
- Smoking raises your blood sugar levels and makes your body less able to use insulin.
- Smoking one cigarette reduces the body's ability to use insulin by 15%.
- Those who smoke with diabetes are more likely to develop nerve damage (neuropathy).
- Smoking increases your chances of permanent vision loss or blindness (retinopathy).
Your Joints and Muscles
- Smoking increases muscle pain and joint pain.
- Smokers with diabetes have more problems with dental disease, and bleeding gums.
- Smoking can increase your blood pressure putting you at risk for stroke and kidney disease.
- Smoking can damage and constrict the blood vessels, this can worsen foot ulcers and lead to leg and foot infections.