Is Smoking A Risk Factor For Autoimmune Diseases?
Smoking compromises the immune system, making smokers more likely to have respiratory infections.It also causes several autoimmune diseases, including Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also play a role in periodic flare-ups of signs and symptoms of autoimmune diseases. Smoking doubles your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Smoking has recently been linked to type 2 diabetes, also known as adult-onset diabetes. Smokers are 30% to 40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. Additionally, the more cigarettes an individual smokes, the higher the risk for diabetes.
Effect On Bones
Recent studies show a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Smoking is one of many factors—including weight, alcohol consumption, and activity level—that increase your risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones weaken and become more likely to fracture.
Significant bone loss has been found in older women and men who smoke. Quitting smoking appears to reduce the risk for low bone mass and fractures. However, it may take several years to lower a former smoker’s risk.
In addition, smoking from an early age puts women at even higher risk for osteoporosis. Smoking lowers the level of the hormone estrogen in your body, which can cause you to go through menopause earlier, boosting your risk for osteoporosis.
Effect On Heart And Blood Vessels
The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells and damage the function of your heart. This damage increases your risk for:
- Atherosclerosis, a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in your arteries
- Aneurysms, which are bulging blood vessels that can burst and cause death
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes:
- Coronary heart disease (CHD), narrow or blocked arteries around the heart
- Heart attack and damage to your arteries
- Heart-related chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Coronary Heart disease, where platelets—components in the blood—stick together along with proteins for form clots which can then get stuck in the plaque in the walls of arteries and cause heart attacks
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs
- Stroke, which is sudden death of brain cells caused by blood clots or bleeding
Breathing tobacco smoke can even change your blood chemistry and damage your blood vessels. As you inhale smoke, cells that line your body’s blood vessels react to its chemicals. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up and your blood vessels thicken and narrow.
Effect On Lungs
Every cigarette you smoke damages your breathing and scars your lungs. Smoking causes:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease that gets worse over time and causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms
- Emphysema, a condition in which the walls between the air sacs in your lungs lose their ability to stretch and shrink back. Your lung tissue is destroyed, making it difficult or impossible to breathe.
- Chronic bronchitis, which causes swelling of the lining of your bronchial tubes. When this happens, less air flows to and from your lungs.
People with asthma can suffer severe attacks when around cigarette smoke.
Are They Cancer Causing?
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. About 70 of them are known to cause cancer.Smoking cigarettes is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer.But, smoking can affect your entire body, and is known to cause cancer in the:
- Oral Cavity
- Nasal Cavity
- Uterine Cervix
10 Tips How To Quit Smoking
- Set your date and time to stop and carry on smoking as usual right up to that time.
- You will have positive gains not only in health, energy and money, but also in confidence, self-respect, freedom and, most important of all, in the length and quality of your future life.
- Light your final cigarette and make a solemn vow that regardless of what highs or lows may befall you in future, you will never smoke on another cigarette or take nicotine in any form again.
- Your body will continue to withdraw from nicotine for a few days but that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. The physical withdrawal is very slight – there is no pain – and it passes quickly.
- Do not try to avoid smoking situations or opt out of life. Go out and enjoy social occasions right from the star. If you’re offered a cigarette, just say: “No thanks – I don’t smoke”.
- Don’t try not to think about smoking – it doesn’t work.
- Never be fooled into thinking you can have the odd cigarette just to be sociable or just to get over a difficult moment.
- Do not use any substitutes. They all make it more difficult to stop because they perpetuate the illusion that you’re making a sacrifice.
- Do not keep cigarettes on you or anywhere else in case of an emergency. If you do, it means you’re doubting your decision.
- Life will soon go back to normal as a non-smoker but be on your guard not to fall back into the trap.
We hope that you’ve made the right choice – Quitting Smoking!