Tobacco and diabetes: what are the effects?
Smoking and diabetes (whether type 1 or type 2) has similar effects on overall health. For someone who smokes, the potential complications linked to diabetes are increased. In fact, the risks are cumulative.
This is why the highest European and world public health authorities strongly recommend and encourage people with diabetes to stop smoking and maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.
Nicotine acts directly on the markers of diabetes
It is estimated that cigarettes contain around 400 harmful chemicals, with nicotine being one of the worst offenders. This is because nicotine alters the transportation of glucose to body cells, causing an increase not only in glucose toxicity but also insulin resistance.
Whatever the method used to inhale nicotine (whether standard or electronic cigarettes), more abnormal variations in blood glucose levels are identified in people with diabetes who smoke, compared to non-smoking people with diabetes.
Smoking exacerbates diabetes-related complications
Many of the particles present in tobacco affect the metabolic system. By disrupting the mechanisms regulating the absorption of glucose and fats by cells, and by altering the lining of blood vessels, smoking contributes to the development of cardiovascular complications.
Rest assured: all of these imbalances can decrease and in some cases disappear over time if you decide to stop smoking. Several studies have shown that by quitting tobacco, the conditions previously identified in lipid profile and glycaemia tests can be corrected .
If necessary, talk to your GP about solutions to help you stop smoking.
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