Smoking is especially dangerous in diabetes: nicotine helps to increase the level of glucose in the blood of patients.
Studies by American scientists have shown that smoking and diabetes are a dangerous combination: nicotine reduces the effectiveness of controlling carbohydrate metabolism in diabetic smokers.
Constantly high blood sugar levels, in turn, increase the risk of developing serious diabetes complications, such as kidney failure, nerve damage, myocardial infarction, stroke, visual impairment.
According to a study by the American Diabetes Association, about 26 million people in the United States suffer from diabetes, 7 million of whom are not yet aware of the existence of their illness. How many patients with diabetes smoke is still a mystery.
Smoking and diabetes: a new study
Doctors have long known that smokers-diabetics can not successfully manage their disease as non-smokers. However, to this day, scientists could not determine which of the 4,000 chemical compounds in cigarette smoke is responsible for increasing blood sugar in diabetes mellitus.
Researchers at the California State Polytechnic University have decided to answer this question. In the laboratory, they were exposed to nicotine samples of human blood.
Scientists isolated from the blood red blood cells (erythrocytes) and influenced them with glucose and nicotine in various concentrations. As an indicator occur in cells of changes, the content of hemoglobin glycated (HbA1C) in the blood was used. In the human body, this substance reflects the effectiveness of the carbohydrate metabolism control over the past three months or so. The higher the content of HbA1C, the higher the glucose content in the blood.
The concentration of nicotine used in the study was comparable to the content of this poison in the blood of smokers. Scientists have used such concentrations of nicotine, which arose in the blood when burned on the day of one or two packs of cigarettes.
It turned out that the greater the effect of nicotine, the higher the content in the blood of HbA1c, indicating the extremely unfavorable effect of this substance on the carbohydrate metabolism. Depending on the concentration of nicotine treated with erythrocytes in the experiment, an increase in HbA1c from 9% to 34.5% was noted.
According to the research director, Dr. Xiao-Chuan Liu, all diabetics should think about the findings because they are quite scary. He believes that endocrinologists should use the results of a new work to convince their patients to refuse smoking.
However, at the same time, Dr. Lew is concerned about the possibility of using different drugs, which are often used during the refusal of cigarettes. All of them (nicotine patches, chewing gums and others) contain nicotine, and therefore they can also have an adverse effect on the carbohydrate metabolism. It is important to remember this, and therefore it is necessary to reduce the time of their application as much as possible.