What Are the Risks Presented by Smoking in Type 2 Diabetes?

Various studies have linked heavy smoking with increased chances of developing insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. The highest risk is associated with those who smoke over one pack a day (a pack contains roughly 20 cigarettes).

However, with the cessation of smoking, insulin resistance appears to gradually subside, suggesting the possibility of reversing insulin resistance prompted by smoking. Smoking also poses a danger to people with high blood pressure or who are at risk for heart disease… both of which conditions are also increasingly likely for a Type 2 diabetic.

Smoking is therefore a known risk and a highly warned against activity for pre-diabetics and those at risk for Type 2 diabetes. The likelihood increases with each additional risk factor in an individual’s medical history:

  • ethnic background (African-American, Native American or Hispanic)
  • age (the older the individual the higher the risk of Type 2 diabetes)
  • obesity (20% or more over average body weight as determined by height/weight ratio, or as determined by a BMI evaluation)
  • physical stress such as chronic illness or surgery
  • alcohol use
  • pancreatic injury (from infection, accident or malignancy)
  • autoimmune disease
  • hypertension
  • high blood cholesterol
  • certain medications
  • family history of Type 2 diabetes (particularly if one or both parents and one or more siblings have Type 2)
  • history of gestational diabetes

Research shows smoking not only increases your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, it can make living with Type 2 much harder and more dangerous.

Smoking increases your chance of:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • kidney disease
  • vascular disease
  • foot ailments
  • retinopathy (eye disease) and
  • neuropathy (nerve damage)

In people with Type 2 diabetes, the damage from any of the above conditions is increased significantly especially with habitual smoking. Controlling blood sugar levels is difficult as nicotine is a known appetite suppressant.

Smoking can cause hardening or narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can be complicated by Type 2 diabetes as small blood vessels sustain damage from a high sugar environment. It can also raise blood pressure, another known complication of Type 2. Limited joint mobility can be complicated also by both smoking and diabetes due to neuropathy and loss of sensation in the legs.

The more risk factors there are present in one individual, the higher their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes… but smoking is twice as bad a risk as any of the other factors. Pack-a-day smokers are, in fact, believed to have triple the chance of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as non-smokers.

While certain risk factors such as ethnic background, family history and age cannot be controlled; smoking, exercise and a proper diet can be… even if help is required to change a risk-heavy lifestyle into a healthy one.

How do you stop smoking? The chances of giving up smoking by willpower alone are tiny. Counseling services, hypnotherapy and nicotine replacement therapy are all effective in helping smoking cessation.

Presentation Skills and the Professional Image

Recently a manger called asking for advice on giving presentations. He indicated he was experienced, but needed some “polish”. He knew his career depended on making a better impression on his audience.

Sound familiar? Presentation skills often can summarized by the four P’s. The first P is passion. Choose a topic that is very important to you as the speaker, one that gets you enthusiastic and energized! If the topic is uninteresting, find some facet that is exciting to you and to the audience, or can be made to seem fascinating. If the topic is uninteresting to you, you will lose your audience.

Preparation is the second P. Learn more about the topic than you will need to use. Discover answers to questions the audience may have, the current research on the field, and the possible future for it. Find relevant statistics and interesting facts or true stories about it as well, and weave them into the presentation.

Prepare also by writing your key words on large note cards. Number the note cards and clip them securely together. High-light the words in different colors, so that they are easily visible.

Polish the speech. Add some powerful words, especially in the beginning and end. Powerful words leap out at you and seize your attention. They may be short, but they are less commonly used. Study the headlines in the sports section of many newspapers for examples. Which words do you really notice? These words with “zing” can be found anywhere, and are wonderful to collect in advance!

Practice the speech numerous times, to colleagues, your family and friends and even to empty chairs if needed! Practice speaking into a tape recorder, recording a CD, DVD or videocassette. Listen and view yourself if possible. Note distracting behaviors such as fidgeting, smacking your lips or tilting your head.

With passion, preparation, polish and practice, your next speech can be a winner!

Negotiating – Advantage Women?

And it’s time for women to take advantage of this new model of negotiating — one that honors compromising and consensus-building over arguing and making demands.

The new negotiating style is no longer black or white, but creative and flexible. It is win-win versus win at all costs.

A perfect example of a master at the new win-win negotiating is Susan Pravda, managing partner of the Boston office of Foley & Lardner and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Pravda strongly believes that women have an edge over men at the negotiating table. “We can be more accessible as people, instantly. We usually have a greater ability to befriend the other side and quite frankly, I think most people enjoy the difference. They get a kick out of the fact that it’s not business-as-usual.”

However, Pravda also believes that women only have an advantage if they use it correctly. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Is there something about my status that allows me to use it to my benefit? If you have a great command of French, and you can converse in French, that can be a terrific asset. My advantage is that, like most women, I schmooze pretty well. So it’s easier for me to break the ice and build a better rapport with people. Also, I’ve found that a lot of men actually find it easier to talk to women. And if I can take advantage of that, you better believe I do!”

Pravda thinks there are three major strengths she brings to the negotiating table. “First, I tend to be very creative and that is key to solving problems that come up. Second, I’m tough, but in a different way than what is characteristically considered ‘male toughness.’ I’m tough in that I take tough positions and try to represent my clients to the fullest extent of my abilities.

“But I’m not tough personally at the table. I don’t yell. I don’t slam my fists on the table. That just doesn’t work for me. And the one thing I’ve learned about negotiating is that you have to stick to a style that works for you.”

The third skill Pravda bring to a negotiation, and which she believes is critical to success, is the ability to listen. “I’ve learned both from personal experience and from training a lot of young associates when to stop talking and when to start listening.”

Negotiating checklist

The following suggestions can help any woman be more successful when negotiating, regardless of who is on the other side of the table.

– Do your homework

– Know what you want to accomplish

– Take your time getting what you want

– Determine the other person’s negotiating style, and adapt accordingly

– When you concede on a point, make a big deal out of it (even if it’s not)

– Check your emotions at the door

– Plan to be tested.

– Don’t be afraid of silence — it’s a powerful tool

– When negotiations get stuck and nobody will budge, initiate a review of how far you’ve come

– Close on a high note

In other words, women can benefit when they appear to approach negotiations in entirely different ways than men do. But it is precisely these differences that often give female negotiators an edge.