How Does Vaping Impact Diabetes?
By Oliver Norman, Content Marketing Manager, EDGE Vaping
Vaping is a popular alternative to traditional smoking. It involves inhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette, which contains nicotine, flavourings, and other chemicals. While vaping is often marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking, it is important to be aware of any risks it poses to your health. This article explores the impact of vaping on diabetes, a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
Specifically, EDGE Vaping will examine the effects of vaping on blood sugar levels, the increased risk of diabetes, the impact of vaping on diabetic complications, and the interaction between vaping and diabetic medications.
What is vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or other vaping device. These devices use a battery-powered heating element to heat a liquid, which then produces a vapour that is inhaled by the user.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. There are two main types of diabetes:
- Type 1, which is caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin and
- Type 2, which is caused by the body’s inability to use insulin effectively.
Effects of Vaping on Blood Sugar Levels
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance found in both tobacco products and e-cigarettes. When nicotine is inhaled, it can increase blood sugar levels, which can be especially problematic for people with diabetes.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL AND VEGETABLE GLYCEROL
Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerol are two chemicals commonly found in e-cigarettes. These chemicals have been shown to increase blood sugar levels in some people, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood.
Many e-cigarettes contain flavourings that are designed to make the vapour taste better. However, some of these flavourings may have an impact on blood sugar levels. For example, some studies have suggested that cinnamon flavouring may help to lower blood sugar levels, while other flavourings, such as vanilla, may have the opposite effect.
Most e-liquids do not contain free sugar, the type associated with high blood sugar and diabetes. Free sugars are any sugars added to food or drink, or found naturally in fruit juices, honey and syrups. If you are in any doubt, always consult your healthcare professional before using a vaping product.
Increased Risk of Diabetes
Vaping does not cause diabetes, but it can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes with overuse.
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin – a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Some studies have suggested that vaping may increase the risk of insulin resistance, which can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.
Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body to fight off infection and injury. However, chronic inflammation can be harmful to health and has been linked to the development of several chronic conditions, including diabetes. Some studies have suggested that vaping may increase the risk of inflammation, which could contribute to the development or exacerbation of diabetes.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to counteract their harmful effects. Some studies have suggested that vaping may increase oxidative stress, which can lead to cellular damage and an increased risk of diabetes.
Complications with Vaping and Diabetes
Diabetes is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and vaping may exacerbate this risk. Some studies have suggested that vaping may increase the risk of cardiovascular complications in people with diabetes, including heart disease and stroke.
Diabetes can also cause complications in the eyes, including diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Vaping may increase the risk of these complications, particularly in people who already have diabetes.
Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease, and vaping may further increase this risk. Some studies have suggested that vaping may contribute to the development or progression of kidney disease in people with diabetes.
Vaping and Diabetic Medications
Insulin is a medication used to regulate blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Vaping may have an impact on insulin therapy, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood. Some studies have suggested that vaping may reduce the effectiveness of insulin, which could lead to poor blood sugar control.
Oral medications, such as metformin and sulfonylureas, are commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes. Vaping may interact with these medications, although more research is needed to fully understand the implications.
People with diabetes should be cautious when using e-cigarettes and should speak with their healthcare provider before starting or continuing vaping.