March 9, 2007, Newsletter Issue #93: Smoking and Diabetes

Tip of the Week

It is commonly known that smoking has many negative effects on the body, including, but not limited to: lung disease, premature infant births with low body weight, damage to the circulatory system, high blood pressure, and cancers of the mouth and respiratory tract. Effects on the circulatory system include constriction of the blood vessels in the hands and feet, which reduces circulation.

Diabetes also has effects on many different body systems, including the circulatory system. Blood pressure often increases, in those with diabetes, and this results in damage to the smaller blood vessels in the hands and feet, impairing blood flow.

When you combine smoking and diabetes, the risks for blood vessel damage to the extremities increases significantly. With this type of damage, and the resultant diminished circulation, those with diabetes can develop ulcers on their feet, which may not heal well, may become infected, or even develop gangrene.

There are many options available to help you quit smoking, from patches and gum, to medications and support programs. Talk to your doctor about how you can reduce your risk of serious complications associated with smoking and your diabetes.

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