Smoking: Metabolic damage and the Risk of Diabetes

Smoking used to be socially acceptable. Remember the Marlboro Man? Smoking was thought of as cool, rugged, and sexy. Virginia Slims won their campaign and made smoking cigarettes fashionable for women, as well.

In reality, smoking has always been detrimental to our health. It’s now common knowledge that smoking damages the lungs, but the effects of smoking on the body’s metabolic process is something less well understood. What is clear is that this metabolic damage can lead to diabetes Type 2.

In the very simplest terms, cigarette smoke is full of carcinogens and pollutants. Here’s the laundry list of how the toxins in cigarette smoke can harm your body:

  • Toxic properties in cigarette smoke get trapped in your lungs limiting oxygen capacity needed to exchange for carbon dioxide from the blood.
  • Smoking increases your bad cholesterol count which can cause sticky plaques to form in your blood vessels.
  • Your blood pressure numbers start to rise as you continue to smoke, which causes a faster moving current of blood through your vessels than is necessary.

All of the toxic damage leads to dangerous metabolic responses within your body: high cholesterol, plaque build-up, high blood pressure. It’s a deadly combination that can cause a stroke or heart attack.

These very same risk factors increase your chances of developing diabetes Type 2. Prevention begins when you are prepared to quit smoking. Once you make the commitment to throw away those cigarettes, the hard work begins.

Tips to Help Quit Smoking

  1. Seek support. It is a big deal to quit smoking. Nicotine is addictive and you will need help of friends and family to begin the process and see it through to the end. Define your support system first so you have people to hold you accountable. If friends and family are not willing or able to support you, find a support group or medical group who is.
  2. Write down your motivation for quitting. When we write things down, they become real and concrete. Lay down on paper the reasons it is important for you to quit smoking; health, family, life, job, financial, future, etc. are just a few.
  3. Get rid of your stash. This doesn?t just mean the cigarettes in your purse. You probably have a pack in your car, one in the nightstand, one in the kitchen, and maybe even a carton in the garage. Don?t tempt yourself. Get rid of them all.
  4. Develop a plan for quitting your smoking habit. Your plan may be quitting ?cold turkey.? That?s when you give it up at once. You could use a nicotine cessation patch. Medication, hypnotism, acupuncture, and cognitive behavior therapy are all techniques worth trying if it gets you to quit this nasty, and dangerous, habit once and for all.

Smoking is a proven risk factor for diabetes Type 2 plus many other life threatening diseases. Quit putting your life in danger ? quit smoking today.

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