Owners' Blog

The Effects from Smoking when having Diabetes!

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Elder Care Johns Creek GA

Are you providing elder care for a loved one with diabetes who smokes?  Are you wondering how smoking can affect someone with Type I or Type II diabetes?  People with diabetes who smoke are at greater risk for complications.

Diabetes affects the blood system.  It does so by narrowing the small blood vessels in our circulatory system.  It then begins to affect the organs of the body.  Smoking further constricts the already narrowing blood vessels.

Smoking drains the body of vital nutrients and deposits chemicals in the tissue, which can lead to toxic buildup creating chronic complications.  One of the nutrients affected by smoking is Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is key to the body’s antioxidant system and it protects the immune system.

Those with diabetes and high blood sugar levels for long periods of time often suffer from nerve damage.   Smoking can cause even more damage to the nerves.  Joint mobility is a problem with diabetics.  Those who have diabetes and smoke are more likely to lose range of movement causing them to be more sedentary which can lead to more significant damage.

Health risks to diabetes that are further complicated by smoking are:

  • Heart attack or stroke

If you provide elderly home care to a diabetic who smokes, they are at a three times higher risk to die from a heart attack or stroke as opposed to diabetics who do not smoke.

  • Blood glucose

Blood glucose levels spike higher.

  • Cholesterol

Cholesterol levels increase.

  • Blood pressure

Blood pressure elevates for diabetics who smoke.

  • Kidney and nerve disease
  • Joint mobility
  • Infections

Damage to the blood vessels due to smoking, makes it harder for the body to heal.  Therefore, the risk of infection increases and can lead to amputations.

  • Cancer

Diabetics who smoke are at a higher risk for developing life threatening cancers in the mouth, throat, lung, and bladder.

  • Respiratory diseases

Diabetics who smoke have a more difficult time fighting colds and other respiratory diseases.

  • Erectile dysfunction

There is a greater risk of impotency for diabetics who smoke.

Providing elder care for a diabetic can be challenging as it is, but smoking complicates the quality of life for that person even more.  Talk to your loved one and make them aware of the risks involved with smoking and diabetes.  Someone who has smoked for a long time may find it hard to quit, but should seek a serious avenue to help them get rid of their addiction.

If you or an aging loved one are looking for senior care in the home, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers of Alpharetta. Call today (678) 430-8511