If you are a diabetic, you know that your body is unable to control blood sugar. So what do you do? You need to stay away from high glycemic index (simple carbohydrates) foods. Research has shown that smoking cigarette and consuming tobacco doubles the damage in diabetics by causing hardening of the arteries. Read more about the effect of smoking on diabetes and how too much caffeine intake can increase complications.
Effect of Smoking on Diabetes
If you have diabetes and you smoke, the risk of heart problems, kidney disease, eye complaints and other complications increases. Even the existing complications can worsen. Research published in the American Journal of Medicine and Diabetes shows that the effect of smoking results in glucose abnormalities like glucose intolerance and impaired fasting glucose.
Smokers are at a 44% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. The risk was highly linked to the smoking degree and not on the fact that whether you smoke cigars, cigarettes or pipes. The risk increases with each cigarette you smoke. So, heavy smokers (who smoke at least 20 cigarettes daily) have a 61% higher risk of developing diabetes. On the other hand, less than 20 cigarettes daily were correlated to a 29% increase in the risk.
The effect of smoking on diabetes can increase albuminuria (blood protein in the urine), the risk to damage of the nerves (neuropathy) and delay healing of wounds.
Effect of Caffeine on Diabetes
Other stimulants like caffeine have also been linked to increasing the complications associated with diabetes by interfering with the movement of glucose through the body and perhaps also stimulating the release of hormones known to boost the blood sugar levels.
Caffeine also creates a chemical called alloxan, which in turn generates free radical production. This free radical may damage the pancreas and its ability to release insulin (the primary hormone involved in controlling normal blood sugar levels), thus increasing the risk to diabetes and worsening diabetic complications.
Caffeine is found in many foods and beverages, such as coffee, soft drinks, chocolates and supplements. The best way to limit its intake to control diabetes is to eliminate its sources completely.
Read more: Diabetes-friendly Breakfast Ideas
How to Quit Smoking
The best and most effective habit is to make a firm decision and stop smoking completely. The success rate for such a bold move is much higher than those who use other methods. Begin by replenishing your intake of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin A, C and E and selenium, which abounds in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Choose fruits and vegetables that have high water content as they help to even out the drying effects of nicotine and caffeine. The increased fibre content in the diet helps to pick and eliminate toxins, thus detoxifying your body alongside. Opt for a high-fibre diet comprising foods like wheat bran, whole pulses, jowar, bajra, fruits and vegetables. These foods provide you with the necessary bulk to prevent constipation.
An alkaline diet that includes herbal teas, sprouted grains, leafy vegetables, soups, juices and fruits and vegetables having high water content is especially helpful when you’re trying to quit. The reason: it helps reduce the urge to smoke and any craving for sweets that you might have.
Make sure to include some raw salads and nuts like almonds, raw peanuts, juice of leafy vegetables like spinach, mint, coriander and lettuce leaves to your diet every day These foods, apart from detoxifying the body, make withdrawal symptoms more tolerable.
Most smokers tend to put on weight soon after they stop smoking. This is because smoking reduces appetite. But when they give up smoking, their appetite is back to normal. So, it is important to support the detoxification with some exercise routine. The detox diet, which is basically high fibre, low-fat and alkaline in nature, along with an exercise will help the smokers to maintain their weight after giving up smoking.
Tips for Diabetics
- Drink plenty of fluids like fruit juices, vegetable juices, warm water throughout the day. This will help in cleansing the body and providing antioxidants to reduce the free radical irritation.
- Munch carrot sticks cucumber strips, radish and plenty of raw vegetables as oral substitutes to deal with the psychological ties to smoking.
- Stay busy to prevent boredom and to keep your mind off smoking.
- Get another smoker to stop smoking with you so that you can discuss common problems & get each other’s support.
- Indulge in health treatments such as a massage, sauna, steam, and teeth cleaning to remove cigarette stains.
- If your craving to smoke arises, take a brisk walk, or drink tea or do things with your hands, or exercise, or go for a swim or just practice breathing & relaxation techniques, smile (even if you don’t feel like) and be thankful that you are not smoking.
Addiction’s touch almost every person’s life. The development of these hard-to-kick habits is a part of our social and cultural upbringing. It is a challenge to change any habit, but keep motivating yourself, as all addictions are ultimately self-destructive.
As you learn to kick your addiction, you will begin to serve your body to its best potential. You’ll also experience good health. Remember, the rewards will outweigh the discomforts you’re going through and this is just a temporary phase. Better days are ahead!
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