My family is no stranger to severe hypoglycemic episodes. With four type 1 diabetics living busy, active lives, serious low blood sugars have resulted in pleading cries to "please drink the o.j., now!" ... to emergency glucagon kits, calls to 911, even a cast for broken bones. Whether or not consciousness was lost, episodes of severe hypoglycemia rattle the family cage. It is scary to witness your loved one out of control both physically and mentally. Beyond mental confusion, severe hypoglycemia can even trigger seizures or coma.
A study published this month in Diabetes Care reveals type 1 diabetics who smoke have a 2.6-fold increase in severe hypoglycemic episodes. The study examined 537 participants enrolled in the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy. Experts hypothesize smoking's effect on the regulation of hormones and insulin can result in severe hypoglycemia. Whatever the case, smoking and diabetes are not a good mix, they are a molatov cocktail when it comes to your health. Smoking is associated with increased risk for diabetic retinal defects, nerve damage and impaired-kidney function.