Index Support Center Forums Non Rx Strategies Nicotine Cheat Sheet

  • This topic has 24 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 9 months ago by Ferret. This post has been viewed 4134 times
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    Let me state, right off the bat, that I don’t want anyone to smoke cigarettes. They are a proven health hazard. PERIOD. There are other ways to use nicotine and they include vaping, the patch and the gum. Also, if you have never smoked or used nicotine then you shouldn’t. But, if you have Narcolepsy with or without cataplexy and do use nicotine then this is the explanation of why you are self medicating. Nicotine is both a REM suppressant and a stimulant. It helps my brain to function and it lessens the severity of cataplexy. It is also addictive but no more so than any other med used for Narcolepsy. If you suddenly withdraw it, without tapering down, you will experience side effects… increased EDS is one of them but, for those with cataplexy, it will increase the severity and frequency of events dramatically. Nicotine is also being studied (with great success) to help other health issues that affect both mind and body.
    Studies of Nicotine as it affects Narcoleptics…
    Other information and studies on the benefits of nicotine…
    So, now, all the information is in one spot and fairly easy to find for reference. I will add to the thread if I come across any other information. It would be helpful if those that are outraged would actually read the material that I’ve linked to before jumping all over me. Peace.


    It’s a shame nicotine has been stained by its association with tobacco. I believe it could have a lot of applications, due to it’s well known abilities as a CNS stimulant, anti-depressant, and an anxiolytic. As much as I like my strattera, if they came out with a med that was nicotine in a capsule, I’d swap out in a heartbeat.

    My current jam: Anathema - Springfield


    We have painful choices to make as N sufferers. Just try to be well-informed. And I heartily agree that smoking should be a no-go zone. Treatment choices are available.

    • If you take, or plan to take, mind-altering drugs or supplements, read this book first:
    • Do not ever take internet health advice without first doing your own research, and always consult a health care professional. Each individual is unique - if you make a mistake, you may not be able to reverse the effects that may take decades to reveal themselves.
    • Be kind to Mother Nature and the Little Ones! 🙂


    A VERY BIG thank you to Jason who has now made it possible to open links in a separate window. Easy to use and, when finished, just close that window and you’re back to the post in which you found the link. Thumbs up Jason!


    Its a temporarily fix, with some serious long term repercussions. Given the higher risk of type 2 diabetes with PWN, you are accelerating your own insulin resistance.

    Sure smoking is bad, but don’t fool yourselves thinking that nicotine patches/gum/lozenges won’t contribute to insulin resistance any less. Feel free to look up the relationship. Here’s an easy read to start you off:


    Interesting. It’s been a temporary fix for me since 1986 and gave me my life back. Just happened to have had blood work done last week and my fasting blood glucose is still 65 mg/dl.
    We are all unique and we all make choices for ourselves. I read YOUR link. Have you read MINE? Because my links are actual studies and WebMD provided NONE.


    Concerning its efficacy? Sure I have no qualms about it. Like I said, easily googleable :

    1. Long-term Use of Nicotine Gum Is Associated With Hyperinsulinemia and Insulin Resistance

    2.Smoking induces insulin resistance—a potential link with the insulin resistance syndrome

    Nicotine and Insulin Resistance: When the Smoke Clears.

    – basically increased risk when u smoke and then increased risk for 2 years after u quit for t2d.

    Like I said easily googleable. We all have different genetic risk for disease. We know narcolepsy has a population at an increased risk of diabetes. So sure, you can be the George Burns of narcoleptics and drink and smoke and die at an old age. That probably doesn’t apply to most.

    Edit: Bonus
    A mechanism linking nicotine to cardiovascular disease via insulin resistance. A leading cause of death in N.A.


    I most definitely don’t drink alcohol which I think has more potential to screw up your insulin and glucose levels. I also don’t consume much in the way of sugar or salt either. And I’m more Gracie than George.
    Thanks for the links. I’ll read them now.


    So here’s my opinion for whatever it’s worth. Nicotine is known to increase blood sugar because it increases epinephrine thus stimulating the production of glucose. There’s pretty much no debate regarding that. It also increases your caloric expenditure to the tune of about 200 calories per day and decreases appetite, which is why smokers tend to be thinner. So if you’ve got prediabetes or T2 diabetes, it is unwise to use. Particularly if you continue to eat more calories than you burn. Under those conditions, I 100% agree it’s probably going to increase the risk of developing diabetes simply by increasing your blood sugar.

    The flipside is if you don’t have those problems and are losing/maintaining weight, it may help you lose or maintain your weight. When people that are dependent on nicotine, at least in the form of tobacco, quit they tend to gain a lot of weight, again increasing the risk of diabetes. A lot of the research on the topic regarding the increased risk of diabetes is based on either former smokers (ie using nicotine gum), and those who smoke. If you’ve been using nicotine for years and have healthy blood sugar tests, I would say the risk is minimal. Ultimately physical activity and excessive weight are the biggest risk factors. If nicotine, for instance, increases physical activity because the PWN is able to function better, it adds another variable that may override the risk.

    Here’s some research supporting the argument that it may be smoke itself causing the increased risk (at least if you’re Swedish).

    But I can find the opposite results as well. So caution is correctly advised. But it’s not really clear what relationship there is to nicotine use in someone with a central hypersomnia since it may increase activity levels. Basically, it’s complicated.


    Oh it’s complicated all right. I finished reading the links and appreciate the opposite point of my personal view.
    Now, please go and google the effects of all the other stimulants prescribed to Narcoleptics and their effects on blood sugar and insulin levels.
    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.


    Given that 2/3 of American adults are overweight or obese, chances are most people here aren’t going to be in that ‘skinny’ demographic. Even if there is weight loss, there could still be a paradoxical gain in intrabdominal fat vs subcutaneous fat -which further perpetuates the insulin resistance. So being ‘skinny fat’ still might be unhealthy despite outward appearances.

    Now pwn have less stage 3N sleep, meaning less growth hormone,less IGF-1. So that’s a shot in the foot for people trying to lose weight. Our brown fat mechanisms via orexin are probably shot too . So over time we become poster child’s for metabolic syndrome. Accelerating the path to another chronic disease like diabetes doesn’t seem wise to me. But hey, to each their own.

    Ferret: well aware of the literature,thanks.


    @ferret I was already on that when I saw your message, haha. Couldn’t find anything on amphetamines, like Adderall and diabetes or blood sugar. I think it’s likely because most stimulants don’t have much effect on epinephrine. Most stimulants increase dopamine/norepinephrine in the brain and don’t seem to have much effect on plasma epinephrine. Nicotine may be unique in this regard. I have a tendency to get low blood sugar on most stimulants actually, which could partially explain why nicotine had a pronounced positive effect for me. Traditional stimulants have different risks.

    During the smoking 50’s and 60’s when 45% of people smoked, do you know what the rate of both types of diabetes was combined was? 1-2% according to the CDC and now it’s almost 8% with all most the entire increase being in type 2. Now the percentage of smokers is dramatically lower at 17%. I’m going to go ahead and say, diet and activity have a whole lot more to do with it than nicotine considering almost no one had it when smoking was everywhere.

    Any drug is going to have pros and cons and nicotine is no different. After all cocaine is just a natural substance. Nicotine has evidence for reducing the risk of autoimmune diseases, parkinson’s, etc though. Ultimately, like we always say, it’s what works for you, not anyone else.


    @immabum I’m not arguing with that. I’m actually glad you brought up the risk of diabetes since you’re absolutely right that it’s a potential risk factor. It’s just a complicated issue with virtually no data regarding PWN so it’s difficult to say with reasonable certainty. Obviously if you have no risk factors for T2 diabetes and your blood sugar is on the lower end of normal, the risk is probably minimal. The only reason I tried nicotine is because I had tried everything else. If I had a blood sugar problem or anything else, I’d stop immediately. I plan to monitor it just in case. I definitely don’t want another condition. I was just speculating that if you were hardly moving because of EDS and nicotine helped someone be more active, it’s not clear what effect that would have on risk. I Know I’d be a hell of a lot less active if I didn’t have medication.

    Some people die on Xyrem through accidental overdose or combining sedatives. There’s always risks. The first and most important thing everyone with these conditions needs to do is exercise and maintain a healthy diet. The current state of inactivity and obesity is alarming and particularly problematic for us folks since we are predisposed to both.


    Interesting that you skipped over the elephants in the room (marked increase in simple/refined carbohydrates and overall caloric intake in NA diets) in your attribution to diabetes rates.

    I’m sure you can find nicer graphs noting the trend between carbs and obesity/diabetes.

    If you want to keep using nicotine as an upper, sure go ahead. Ignore/don’t care to understand what insulin resistance means -meh.

    As admin/senior members of this group – keep in mind you may be contributing to future adverse health outcomes, for a group of people already at risk. By virtue of our disease we are already at increased risk of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. The unbalanced ‘pro-nicotine’ posts I’ve seen irked me enough to join just to post a counter point.

    Sorry drugs are different, and their pros and cons will differ in their magnitude and efficacy. If you don’t understand, then learn. 30 years from now when they find a cohort of pwn with increased rates of diabetes – part of that blood will be on your hands.


    You seem to be selectively reading and/or interpreting my replies and then drawing fallacious conclusions. I understand the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. I even explained why nicotine appears to increase blood glucose and how that may cause insulin resistance leading to diabetes if sufficiently chronically elevated. Ferret’s fasting glucose is less than 100 mg/dL, in fact it’s significantly lower. She does not have anything close to even prediabetes, despite using it as her treatment of choice. Diabetes generally takes years to develop.

    I thanked you for bringing the topic of the risk up. It added a good point and was helpful to the discussion. I used those graphs to show that nicotine is not even close to being responsible for the majority of cases and specifically stated lifestyle choices, including diet as the underlying cause. Constructive debate is encouraged. Note, WWP disagrees with the use of nicotine but does so in a polite and respectful manner. Rude behavior and snipes, are specifically prohibited. You have been warned and it will be the only warning. Dealing with a chronic condition is difficult enough and this is a support group. If you cannot abide by these rules, you will be banned. No one appreciates it. Either learn basic skills showing respect to other members, or leave. The choice is yours.

    You obviously feel passionately about diabetes and/or nicotine. You could do a lot of good on here if you simply made a post about preventing diabetes through diet, exercise, etc. Encouraging members to exercise and diet is important. We are all on the same side, trying to help each other.

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