Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people around the world. It is a condition wherein the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and the blood sugar levels are unmanageable. According to the American Diabetes Association, people who smoke are more likely to develop diabetes.
Smoking and Diabetes
While smoking is bad for healthy individuals, it is more harmful to those who have serious health problems such as diabetes. Nicotine from tobacco causes the blood vessels to narrow and harden, resulting to reduced blood flow. It also increases your blood sugar levels. People with diabetes have high risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, nerve damage, stroke, kidney failure, and other diseases. If you have diabetes, you become much more vulnerable of developing any of these illnesses.
While there is no known cure for diabetes until today, incorporating healthy habits and eliminating the unhealthy ones will certainly help you manage your condition and live a normal life. Furthermore, you will be able to protect yourself from the debilitating consequences of diabetes.
If you are a smoker who have diabetes or is genetically predisposed to it, it is imperative that you quit smoking today. Here are some tips that will help you:
- Tell your friends and family of your intention to quit. You will need support from these people in order to quit smoking for good. When they know you are in the process of quitting, your smoking relatives or friends are less likely to smoke when they are with you.
- Increase your fluid intake. Drink lots of water, as well as fruit juice, decaffeinated coffee, soup, and other healthy beverages. Skip coffee, soft drinks and alcohol because they can heighten your cigarette craving.
- Eat low-calorie, nutritious foods. As much as possible, consume more of foods that have low GI (glycemic index). These are foods that are low in calories yet take a long time to be digested. Examples are fruits and vegetables, which according to studies, help suppress smoking cravings. If you feel the craving after a meal, chew a sugarless gum.
- Exercise. Physical activity plays a very big role in smoking cessation and diabetes management. Exercising relieves tension, flushes out toxins brought by smoking, and lowers the nicotine content in your body. All these things are going to improve your chance of stopping smoking for good. 10-20 minutes of aerobic workout every day will take you a long way towards your goal of a smoke-free life.
- Decide on a smoking cessation method. If you think your willpower is enough to withdraw from the habit, go on. Otherwise, using a smoking cessation method can be highly beneficial. If you have a hard time quitting, medications such as Chantix are recommended. However, you need to secure a prescription from your doctor before you can purchase the drug.
- Don’t be discouraged of relapse. There will be times that you will slip. It’s normal. But don’t allow yourself to glide back to the habit. Talk to your doctor to learn about other ways on how you can quit for good.