Nicotine And Blood Sugar A Dangerous Combo
March 28, 2011 (Anaheim, Calif.) -- Nicotine appears to be the main culprit responsible for high blood sugar levels in smokers with diabetes, according to new research presented here at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society. Those constantly high blood sugar levels, in turn, increase the risk of serious diabetes complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and nerve damage. ''If you have diabetes and if you are a smoker, you should be concerned about this," says Xiao-Chuan Liu, PhD, a researcher at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, who spoke about his findings at a news conference Sunday. In his laboratory study, he exposed human blood samples to nicotine. The nicotine raised the level of hemoglobin A1c, a measure of blood sugar control. The higher the nicotine dose, the more the A1c level rose. For years, doctors have known that smokers who have diabetes tend to have poorer blood sugar control than nonsmokers with diabetes. However, until Liu's study, he says, no one could say for sure which of the more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke was responsible. About 26 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, although 7 million of those are undiagnosed. Liu took red blood cells from people and treated them in the laboratory with glucose and nicotine at various concentrations. To measure the effects of the nicotine on the levels of blood sugar, he used the hemoglobin A1c blood test. This test measures the average blood sugar control for the previous three months or so. The higher the test results, the more uncontrolled the blood sugar is. Liu used doses of nicotine comparable to what would be found in the blood of smokers. The levels of nicotine he used in the lab would corresp Continue reading >>
Minimizing The Most Common Side Effects To Quitting Smoking
Blood sugar plummets in many people when first quitting. The most common side effects felt during the first three days can often be traced back to blood sugar issues. Symptoms such as headache, inability to concentrate, dizziness, time perception distortions, and the ubiquitous sweet tooth encountered by many, are often associated with this blood sugar drop. The symptoms of low blood sugar are basically the same symptoms as not having enough oxygen, similar to reactions experienced at high altitudes. The reason being the inadequate supply of sugar and/or oxygen means the brain is getting an incomplete fuel. If you have plenty of one and not enough of the other, your brain cannot function at any form of optimal level. When you quit smoking, oxygen levels are often better than they have been in years, but with a limited supply of sugar it can't properly fuel your brain. It is not that cigarettes put sugar into your blood stream; it is more of a drug interaction of the stimulant effect of nicotine that affects the blood sugar levels. Cigarettes cause the body to release its own stores of sugar and fat by a drug type of interaction. That is how it basically operated as an appetite suppressant, affecting the satiety centers of your hypothalamus. As far as for the sugar levels, nicotine in fact works much more efficiently than food. If you use food to elevate blood sugar levels, it literally takes up to 20 minutes from the time you chew and swallow the food before it is released to the blood, and thus the brain, for its desired effect of fueling your brain. Cigarettes, by working through a drug interaction cause the body to release its own stores of sugar, but not in 20 minutes but usually in a matter of seconds. In a sense, your body has not had to release sugar on its own i Continue reading >>
Smoking And Diabetes: 4 Smoking-related Problems
What are the risks of smoking? You’ve probably heard the grim statistics a million times over. Even if you don’t know all the numbers, you likely know that smoking is bad for your health. It has a negative effect on every organ in your body. It raises your risk of potentially fatal diseases, such as heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and many types of cancer. As bad as smoking is for the average person, it’s even worse if you have diabetes. You already have a condition that affects many parts of your body. When you add smoking to the mix, it raises your risk of health complications even more. If you have diabetes, you have to work hard enough already to keep your blood sugar in check. Smoking can make that task even more difficult. Smoking may make your body more resistant to insulin, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to serious complications from diabetes, including problems with your kidneys, heart, and blood vessels. Like diabetes, smoking also damages your cardiovascular system. This double-burden can be lethal. At least 68 percent of adults age 65 and older with diabetes die from heart disease, reports the American Heart Association. Another 16 percent die from stroke. If you have diabetes, you’re two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than people without the condition. Smoking directly affects your lungs and can lead to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases. People with these diseases are at higher risk of developing lung infections, such as pneumonia. These infections can be especially dangerous when you have diabetes. You might get sicker than you otherwise would and have a harder time recovering. Being sick also raises blood su Continue reading >>
How Much Do You Know About Smoking?
Unless youve been living on a desert island for the past 20 years, youre undoubtedly aware of all the research demonstrating the dangers of smoking. There are plenty of magazine articles and TV public service ads explaining them. Nevertheless, certain interesting facts about cigarette smoking may have escaped your attention. Also, general information about smoking hazards almost never includes facts about the relationship between smoking and diabetes. The following quiz might help you discover if youre up to speed on the latest information and might surprise you, too. (You can find the answers later in the article.) 1. In the United States, how many deaths per year are attributed to smoking? 2. Of people with diabetes who have amputations involving their feet or legs, what percentage are smokers? 3. The nicotine patch is highly recommended for helping people with diabetes quit smoking. 4. As harmful as smoking is, at least it doesnt raise your blood glucose level. 5. In 1997, 36.4% of high school students in the United States were smokers. What percentage of high school students are smokers today? 6. Which of the following harmful substances is found in tobacco smoke? 7. The children of women who smoke are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. 1. A. A whopping 443,000 deaths per year in the United States are attributed to the harmful effects of smoking. Proof that smoking is a grave health hazard was first offered in 1964 in a report by the US Surgeon Generals Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. This panel concluded that a smoker runs a much higher risk of developing lung cancer than a nonsmoker. But the list of maladies related to smoking does not stop there; it also includes heart disease, stroke, emphysema, impotence, and a host of other cancers, including c Continue reading >>
Smoking And Diabetes
What Is Diabetes? Diabetes is a group of diseases in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal. Most of the food a person eats is turned into glucose (a kind of sugar) for the body’s cells to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin that helps glucose get into the body’s cells. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use the insulin very well. Less glucose gets into the cells and instead builds up in the blood.1 There are different types of diabetes. Type 2 is the most common in adults and accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes cases. Fewer people have type 1 diabetes, which most often develops in children, adolescents, or young adults.2 How Is Smoking Related to Diabetes? We now know that smoking causes type 2 diabetes. In fact, smokers are 30–40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. And people with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their disease.3 The more cigarettes you smoke, the higher your risk for type 2 diabetes.3 No matter what type of diabetes you have, smoking makes your diabetes harder to control. If you have diabetes and you smoke, you are more likely to have serious health problems from diabetes. Smokers with diabetes have higher risks for serious complications, including:4 Heart and kidney disease Poor blood flow in the legs and feet that can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation (removal of a body part by surgery, such as toes or feet) Retinopathy (an eye disease that can cause blindness) Peripheral neuropathy (damaged nerves to the arms and legs that causes numbness, pain, weakness, and poor coordination) If you are a smoker with diabetes, quitting Continue reading >>
How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?
A printable, colorful PDF version of this article can be found here. twitter summary: Adam identifies at least 22 things that affect blood glucose, including food, medication, activity, biological, & environmental factors. short summary: As patients, we tend to blame ourselves for out of range blood sugars – after all, the equation to “good diabetes management” is supposedly simple (eating, exercise, medication). But have you ever done everything right and still had a glucose that was too high or too low? In this article, I look into the wide variety of things that can actually affect blood glucose - at least 22! – including food, medication, activity, and both biological and environmental factors. The bottom line is that diabetes is very complicated, and for even the most educated and diligent patients, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that affects blood glucose. So when you see an out-of-range glucose value, don’t judge yourself – use it as information to make better decisions. As a patient, I always fall into the trap of thinking I’m at fault for out of range blood sugars. By taking my medication, monitoring my blood glucose, watching what I eat, and exercising, I would like to have perfect in-range values all the time. But after 13 years of type 1 diabetes, I’ve learned it’s just not that simple. There are all kinds of factors that affect blood glucose, many of which are impossible to control, remember, or even account for. Based on personal experience, conversations with experts, and scientific research, here’s a non-exhaustive list of 22 factors that can affect blood glucose. They are separated into five areas – Food, Medication, Activity, Biological factors, and Environmental factors. I’ve provided arrows to show the ge Continue reading >>
- Postprandial Blood Glucose Is a Stronger Predictor of Cardiovascular Events Than Fasting Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Particularly in Women: Lessons from the San Luigi Gonzaga Diabetes Study
- There’s Now More Evidence That Type 2 Diabetes Can Actually Be Reversed
- Diet drinks and food actually trigger weight gain and diabetes, says new study
How Does Nicotine Affect Blood Sugar?
Nicotine can make your blood sugar level go up or down. The chemical alters the way your body can use glucose, the sugar in your blood that fuels your cells. It could raise your odds of getting type 2 diabetes, and it can make your diabetes worse. On the flip side, nicotine may cause severe low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) for people who have diabetes and take insulin. Nicotine changes chemical processes in your cells so they don't respond to insulin and let it in, a condition called insulin resistance. Your cells need insulin so they can take glucose out of your blood and use it for energy. When they can't, the glucose stays in your blood, and your blood sugar level goes up. Nicotine can also trigger your body to make more triglycerides, a type of fat linked to insulin resistance. And nicotine raises levels of hormones that fight insulin. It doesn't take long for smoking to affect your cells' ability to use insulin. You could have signs of insulin resistance just an hour later. Studies show that people who have diabetes and smoke need larger doses of insulin to control their blood glucose. That's a problem because when your blood glucose is too high for a few years, it could lead to heart disease and damage to your kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Low blood sugar isn't good for you either, though. Depending on how far it drops, you might lose focus, pass out, or even have a seizure, which could be dangerous when you're driving or walking down stairs, for example. And when it happens often, you run the risk of brain damage. Scientists aren't sure why nicotine can lower blood sugar, but they think one reason is because it allows insulin to stick around longer. Continue reading >>
Quitting Smoking With Diabetes
Pretty much anyone who smokes knows that its important to quit. Smoking affects so many aspects of your health, and it definitely has an impact on your diabetes management. But, according to the website Smokefree.gov , Many ex-smokers say quitting was the hardest thing they ever did. However, millions of Americans have quit smoking, so it can be done. Read on to learn the whys and hows of quitting smoking, and find out whats worked for others. Think back to when you started smoking. Maybe you were a teenager or a young adult. Maybe you had friends or parents who smoked. You might have seen ads, TV shows, or movies that glamorized smoking. But once you start to smoke, its all too easy to get hooked, thanks to nicotine, an addictive substance found in tobacco. Nicotine can make you feel good, and it promotes relaxation and stress relief. It acts on the nervous system and the brain to boost levels of dopamine, a feel-good chemical. The effects of nicotine wear off quickly, though, which is why someone who smokes feels the urge to light up frequently. Over time, the body starts to build up a tolerance, and more nicotine is needed to prevent feeling irritable or edgy, setting in motion a vicious cycle of dependency. If you smoke, chances are you reach for a cigarette when youre stressed out, anxious, or upset. Smoking provides quick relief and helps you calm down. According to the American Cancer Society, two out of three smokers want to quit, and half try to quit every year, but most wont succeed without help. Nicotine causes a physical and emotional dependence thats tough to break. Research shows that its easier to stop using hard-core drugs, such as cocaine, than it is to stop smoking. And going through nicotine withdrawal, without help, is challenging, causing unpleasan Continue reading >>
Smoking And Diabetes
Smoking increases your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. The more you smoke, the more chance you have of getting diabetes (DYE-uh-BEE-teez). If you smoke 16 to 25 cigarettes a day, your risk for Type 2 diabetes is 3 times greater than a non-smoker’s risk. When you quit smoking, your risk decreases during the years that follow. Smoking affects the way insulin works in your body. In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond to the insulin (IN-suh-lin) made by the pancreas (PAN-kree-us). Insulin helps blood glucose, or glucose (GLOO-cose), enter the body’s cells for fuel. When you smoke, your body is less able to respond to insulin. When your body resists insulin, your glucose levels increase. Resistance does not start to reverse until you do not smoke for 10 to 12 hours. Smoking makes it harder to control your diabetes. Studies show that smokers have poorer glucose control than non-smokers do. Ex-smokers have the same blood glucose control as non-smokers. When you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, glucose control is very important. The A1c (read “A-one-C”) test checks how well you control your glucose level over 3 months. The goal is to keep your A1c at 7 percent or less. When you have diabetes and you smoke, your A1c level increases. If you quit smoking, your A1c level may decrease to the same level as a non-smoker’s. Smoking increases your risk for getting other problems from diabetes. When you have diabetes and smoke, your chances are greater for getting other health problems from diabetes. These other health problems are called complications (COM-pli-KAY-shuns). You can get serious eye problems, kidney problems, and nerve problems. You can get heart and blood vessel disease, such as heart attack, stroke, and hardening of the arteries, especially in the legs. E Continue reading >>
Diabetics Who Quit Smoking May Have Trouble Controlling Blood Sugar
(Reuters Health) - Although smoking increases the risk of diabetes and quitting has numerous health benefits, diabetics who quit may have temporary difficulty controlling their symptoms, a British study finds. Researchers reviewed medical records for 10,692 adult smokers with diabetes in the UK and found that smoking cessation led to an uptick in blood sugar levels that lasted three years and was not caused by weight gain. “We know that smoking increases the risk of developing diabetes so when people stop smoking we would expect things to immediately improve; however, we found that things get a little worse in terms of glycemic control before they get better,” lead author Dr. Deborah Lycett, of the faculty of health and life sciences at Coventry University in the U.K., said by email. Worldwide, nearly one in 10 adults had diabetes in 2014, and the disease will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030, according to the World Health Organization. Most of these people have type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and aging and happens when the body can’t properly use or make enough of the hormone insulin to convert blood sugar into energy. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to nerve damage, amputations, blindness, heart disease and strokes. Lycett and colleagues examined the impact of smoking cessation on diabetes symptoms by testing hemoglobin A1c, a protein in red blood cells that gets coated with sugar over time, making it a gauge of average blood sugar levels for the past two or three months. Diabetics have A1c levels of at least 6.5 percent. The study included more men than women, and most participants were white. At the start of the observation period in 2005, participants were 62 years old on average and had been living with diabetes for about six Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Smoking
Tweet The information that smoking is bad for us is everywhere, but for diabetics, smoking can be even more damaging. Beyond the usual reasons, why shouldn’t I smoke if I have diabetes? Smoking is now proven to be an independent risk factor for diabetes, and amongst diabetics it increases the risk of complications. Diabetes complications already include heart disease, stroke and circulation problems. Smoking adds to the risk of developing all of these things. In some cases, smoking can double the likelihood of these conditions, as well as doubling the chances of suffering from kidney problems and erectile dysfunction. For type 2 diabetics, the major cause of death is cardiovascular disease. How does smoking increase my heart disease risk as a diabetic? Smoking and diabetes both increase the risk of heart disease in very similar ways, and so when combined, they greatly exacerbate the chances of suffering a heart related condition such as a heart attack or stroke. Both high levels of glucose in the blood and smoking damage the walls of the arteries in such a way that fatty deposits can build up much easier. As this occurs, the blood vessels narrow and make circulating blood much harder. When this happens to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and therefore oxygen) a heart attack can occur. Similarly, a stroke is when not enough blood can get to the brain, and so anything that may limit blood flow increases the risks of a stroke. High blood glucose levels also have this effect on the blood vessels and blood flow, so if you smoke when you have diabetes, you are putting yourself at a much greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. I am not diabetic, but I am a smoker. Could smoking lead me to develop diabetes? Smoking is als Continue reading >>
Study: Quitting Smoking Raises Diabetes Risk
(Health.com) -- People who quit smoking are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes after they kick the habit, most likely due to post-quitting weight gain, a new study has found. Experts caution, however, that the benefits of quitting smoking -- including a lower risk of heart attack and lung cancer -- far outweigh the risk of developing diabetes, which can be treated with diet, exercise, and medication. The study, which was published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed nearly 11,000 middle-aged people without diabetes -- 45 percent of whom were smokers -- over a nine-year period. Compared to those who had never smoked, the people who quit smoking during the study had a 73 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes three years after quitting. The increased risk was even more dramatic in the years immediately after quitting. "Based on our analysis, [it's] probably 80 percent or even 90 percent," says the study's lead author, Hsin-Chieh (Jessica) Yeh, an assistant professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. By contrast, the smokers who continued to light up were only 31 percent more likely than non-smokers to have developed diabetes at the three-year mark. Previous research has shown that smokers are at higher risk of developing diabetes. Watch Dr. Gupta explain how quitters can lower diabetes risk There was some good news in the study: The increased risk of diabetes does not appear to last over the long term. After 12 years without cigarettes, the ex-smokers were at no greater risk for diabetes than the people who had never smoked, the study showed. Health.com: Smoking ads through history In all, 1,254 participants in the study developed type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease in which the bo Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Smoking
What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease where your body can't make or use a hormone called insulin. Insulin is made by your pancreas. It's what lets your cells turn glucose (sugar) from the food you eat into energy. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is where your body doesn't make insulin. Type 2 (often called "adult onset") is where your body can't use the insulin it makes as well as it should. People with diabetes have higher glucose levels because the glucose (sugar) in the food they eat can't be turned into energy. Over time, high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels can damage your organs such as kidney, heart, blood vessels and eyes. This damage can cause them to malfunction or fail. In the U.S., 29 million people have diabetes, or 9.3% of the population. Does smoking make me more likely to develop diabetes? Yes, smoking increases your risk for developing diabetes. Smoking can change how your body processes and regulates sugar from the food you eat. It can also make it harder to control your blood sugar levels if you already have diabetes. If you smoke, you have a 30-40% higher chance of developing diabetes than someone who never smoked. And the more you smoke, the higher your chance of developing diabetes. Once you quit, your risk of developing diabetes goes down. The longer you've been quit, the less likely it is you'll become diabetic. How does smoking affect me if I already have diabetes? If you have diabetes, smoking increases your chances of dying from any cause compared to non-smokers. It also increases your risk for damage to your organs, as well as your chances for having a heart attack or stroke. Smoking can double your risk of developing kidney damage compared to non-smokers, if you have diabetes. That risk goes down the longer you've been quit. Smo Continue reading >>
The Effects Of Nicotine On Blood Glucose Levels
Nicotine is a plant compound that contains both stimulant and relaxation properties when ingested. Common recreational uses of nicotine include cigarette and cigar smoking and the use of chewing tobacco. Regardless of the source, nicotine is linked to an increase in blood glucose levels, as nicotine impairs insulin action and prompts the body to make extra glucose. Because of these effects, nicotine use has an impact on blood glucose control, making it problematic for individuals with diabetes. Video of the Day Nicotine Increases Glucose Production Nicotine causes an increase in the body's production of catecholamines, which include hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones are produced when the body is under emotional and physical stress. They affect the body in several ways -- increasing heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and blood glucose levels, while also causing the breakdown of fat and the increase of blood fat levels. Catecholamine production can also decrease appetite and increase the amount of calories burned -- which may help explain why weight gain is common when people stop smoking. Nicotine Affects Insulin Action Smokers who have diabetes are more likely than their non-smoking counterparts to have impaired insulin action, also known as insulin resistance. Nicotine use is linked to an increase in abdominal fat, which is another way it can interfere with the effectiveness of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that removes excess glucose from the blood, so impaired insulin action is a major cause of high blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance causes the body to make more insulin to keep blood glucose controlled, and if the body cannot keep up with this increased demand for insulin, blood glucose levels increase. This can lead to p Continue reading >>
Does Quitting Smoking Cause Low Blood Sugar?
Nicotine withdrawal causes a whole host of symptoms that can leave new ex-smokers feeling shaky and uncomfortable, but to date, research has not shown a direct link between quitting smoking and low blood sugar. Blood sugar is affected by both smoking and smoking cessation, however. Let's take a closer look at how it happens. How Smoking Affects Blood Sugar Once inhaled, the nicotine in cigarette smoke slows the release of insulin, a hormone that helps sugar get into the cells of our bodies where it can be used for energy. Insulin also removes excess sugar from the blood when necessary. Because of this, smokers tend to be slightly hyperglycemic, meaning that they have too much sugar in their blood. In this way, nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant. It also puts smokers at risk for type 2 diabetes. Smoking Cessation and Blood Sugar When a person stops smoking, elevated blood sugar from the presence of nicotine settles back to normal levels in time, though research has shown that initially, smoking cessation may cause blood sugar to rise a small amount for some people. More on that below. Science has not yet uncovered definitive proof that smoking cessation causes a drop in blood sugar, but some research has been done on this as well. Research In 2012, Dr. Marietta Stadler and her team conducted a study to better understand how quitting smoking affects blood sugar. A small group of smokers who were smoking at the start of the study, but quit smoking during the research were monitored for blood sugar changes. Insulin secretions were measured before and after cessation (at three and six months smoke-free) on these people. It was found that these new ex-smokers released a bit more insulin at three months smoke-free than they did while smoking. Additionally, they appeared Continue reading >>