Doha, 13 November, 2019: Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center says smokers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. He says World Diabetes Day, recognized each year on 14 November, is an opportune time to highlight that smoking significantly increases the risk of diabetes complications and may even trigger the disease.
“Smoking increases inflammation in the body. Inflammation occurs when chemicals in cigarette smoke injure cells and interfere with proper cell function. Smoking can also cause the body to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can make it harder for insulin to work properly,” said Dr. Al Mulla.
Dr. Al Mulla says all diabetic smokers should quit smoking and using any type of tobacco products immediately, noting that smokers who have diabetes are more likely to have serious health problems.
“People with diabetes who smoke are more likely than nonsmokers to have trouble with insulin dosing and with controlling their disease. They will often need a larger dose of insulin to control their blood sugar,” added Dr. Al Mulla.
Dr. Jamal Abdullah, a Smoking Cessation Specialist at HMC says smokers with diabetes are at an increased risk for heart and kidney disease as well as foot infections and ulcers, underscoring the significance of quitting. He says no matter how much or how long a person has smoked, quitting will allow the body to begin repairing itself.
“Smoking may make the body more resistant to insulin, which can lead to higher blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause serious complications from diabetes, including problems with one’s kidneys, heart, and blood vessels, and poor blood flow in the legs and feet, which can lead to infections, ulcers, and possible amputation,” said Dr. Abdullah.
“The health benefits of quitting begin right away. Studies have shown that insulin can start to become more effective at lowering blood sugar levels just eight weeks after a smoker quits,” added Dr. Abdullah.