Type 2 Diabetes – Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?

Type 2 Diabetes – Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?

We all know smoking is damaging to the body. It’s impossible to escape the research and information that has been done on the subject of smoking… tobacco products will negatively affect your health, including your diabetes care. However, many people still continue to smoke even though they know the immense health issues that come along with it.

While smoking has several adverse effects on non-diabetics, these effects have been found to be even worse in people who have been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Among other things, smoking:

lowers blood flow in your arteries and blocks increased flow when it is required,

increases pain in the legs and hearts of people diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease (PVD), and coronary artery disease (CAD),

increases your blood pressure,

increases the grouping of platelets that can lead to a plug or clot that can blocks the arteries, and

can also lead to increased atheromatous plaques which are the changes in the arteries in your heart and other areas, like the brain and legs that precede closing of the blood vessels.

If you have diabetes and kidney disease, smoking puts you on a faster track for complications such as stroke and heart attack.

To kick the smoking habit you will need to implement some lifestyle modifications.

1. One way to get rid of the craving when you feel like you need a cigarette is to chew gum. Yes, it sounds very simple, and it is. Many people simply want something in their mouth out of habit. You could try carrot sticks or chewing gum.

2. Think about the type of trigger you have when you are wanting a cigarette. Then, you’ll be able to replace the habit with something healthier. For instance, if you want a cigarette every time you feel stress at home, go out and take a walk. Then you will be replacing the negative habit of cigarette smoking with an action that will help you become healthier. Taking a walk will help increase your endorphins and burn off the extra adrenaline that accompanies stress.

3. Of course, you could also purchase a nicotine patch or try nicotine gum. These methods work for some people but not for everyone. Try one of them out for a week or two and see if it helps you alleviate your desire to smoke. Then, you can gradually lower the number of nicotine patches or gum you are using until you don’t need them anymore.

4. When you feel a craving to smoke a cigarette coming on, take 10 deep breaths. Make them very slow breaths, close your eyes if possible and then raise your head before opening your eyes. This will help send more oxygen to your brain so you can really think through what’s going on instead of immediately running to grab your cigarettes.

5. Many people have found acupuncture, hypnosis and other alternative treatments have helped them to stop smoking. Acupuncture targets specific meridians in your body and is useful in many different kinds of medical issues. Hypnosis helps to retrain your brain so you don’t immediately want to smoke once your triggers are set off.

Above all else, try to keep busy when you are first quitting so you can keep your mind off of your addiction.

Thinking about quitting smoking can actually cause anxious feelings in some people. How will I do? How will I cope if I can’t smoke? What if I gain a lot of weight? These emotional concerns are important and need to be talked about with your doctor, openly and honestly. You can do it, you have the ability to quit, but it will require you to:

make a commitment,

create and implement a plan, and

obtain support from your family, friends and health care team.

Are you ready to quit? This is the key question you should ask yourself before attempting this lifestyle change.