We all know that smoking is bad for everyone, but for people with diabetes, it can be even more damaging.
Smoking is an independent risk factor for diabetes, and amongst people with diabetes, it increases the risk of complications. We already know that complications already include circulation problems, heart disease and stroke and smoking adds to the risk of developing all of these things. There are cases when it can not only double these conditions but also double the chances of suffering from kidney problems and erectile dysfunction.
Does smoking increase heart disease risk for a diabetic?
Both diabetes and smoking can increase the risk of heart disease in very similar ways. When combined, there are more chances of suffering a heart-related condition such as a stroke or heart attack.
The walls of the arteries are damaged by both high levels of glucose in the blood and smoking in a way that fatty deposits can build up much easier. When this occurs, the blood vessels narrow and make circulating blood much harder.
Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and therefore oxygen. When this happens to them, a heart attack can occur. A stroke occurs when not enough blood can get to the brain, and so anything that may limit blood flow increases the risks of a stroke.
As we know, high blood glucose levels have an effect on the blood vessels and blood flow. This means that if you have diabetes and smoke, you are putting yourself at a much greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Are there other diabetes complications that can occur if I smoke?
Yes, there are. Further diabetes complications that can occur are diabetic nephropathy and albuminuria. Although less evident, there are links between smoking and retinopathy.
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