Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Quitting smoking increases risk of Diabetes

Last night as I prepared dinner a news story came on that caught my attention. The headline to the story was that people who quit smoking had a higher risk of developing type II diabetes.  Jokingly they suggested that perhaps it was safer to not quit smoking, I almost lost my mind at that point.   It wasn’t until the end of the report that they explained the reason behind the result of the study but by then how many had moved to another channel and missed the facts.

At the end of the report they stated that it is weight gain from quitting smoking that created type II diabetes due to changes in how your body processes sugar and insulin. I had the report on my mind all night and this morning I looked for the story in print. Here is a quote from the article in Reuters which states:

Yeh's study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, looked at almost 11,000 middle-aged adults who did not yet have diabetes from 1987 to 1989. The patients were followed for up to 17 years and data about diabetes status, glucose levels, weight and more were collected at regular intervals.

The researchers found that people who quit smoking had a 70 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first six years after stopping compared to people who never smoked. The risks were highest in the first three years, and returned to normal after 10 years.

Among those who did not stop smoking the risk was lower, but the chance of developing diabetes was still 30 percent higher compared with those who never smoked.

This isn’t new information as a quick search on Google shows multiple reports over the years stating this fact. These same news report attribute this change to weight gain after and during the quitting process. Habits are not easy to break and the typical person will find something to do while they are trying to quit, they replace one habit with another and food is the most common new habit.  Let’s face it, when people are snacking they are picking easy things to eat which tend to be process foods that are calorie dense and lack nutrients, most snack choices are loaded with processed carbohydrates. This onslaught of cheap overly processed carbohydrates taxes the body and starts the changes that take place that cause type II diabetes.

This is a common theme with most people who smoke regarding quitting, many are afraid of the weight gain. My hope that this news report does not deter anyone from quitting their smoking habit as smoking has the ability to also create deadly conditions.

They do present some ideas on how to quit without gaining weight but as we all know that is easier said than done..  Another quote from the article states:

"To counteract the increased risk of diabetes, people who quit smoking should implement a series of lifestyle changes in consultation with their physicians, Yeh says.
Dr. Richard D. Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, recommends that people who quit smoking stick to small portions of low-fat, low-calorie foods. They should also get moving, he adds.
"Even just moderate exercise -- like 30 minutes of brisk walking -- reduces the urges to smoke and reduces withdrawal symptoms," he says. "People are able to distract themselves, it makes them feel better, and it uses up some of the calories."

To read the news story in Reuters click here 

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