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Transition was positive. They helped me understand my condition.




Smoking impacts on your health even if you don't have an underlying medical condition. If you have diabetes its important to understand the impact it can have on you. Smoking can double the risk of health complications for people with diabetes. This includes increased risk of heart attacks, eye damage (retinopathy), kidney damage (nephropathy) and painful nerve damage (neuropathy). Smoking can increase cholesterol levels and also cause insulin resistance leading to increased blood glucose levels as well as putting more strain on the body generally. Smoking can also affect fertility levels and the chance of having a healthy pregnancy and baby

Resources to help people quit include the NHS smoking helpline: 0300 123 1044 and

Illegal Drugs 

We know that you might be curious about new experiences and might consider trying drugs at some point. Taking illegal drugs or even anything that causes 'legal highs' can be extremely dangerous, especially for people with diabetes. A person with diabetes who takes drugs is at increased risk of hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemia and other physical problems - temporary and permanent.  Please ask your Clinical Nurse Specialist for more information on the effect of drugs when you have diabetes - we are really happy to talk to you about this.

No drug is a safe drug. Whether illegal or legal (like nicotine and alcohol), drugs can lead to problems with health, family, friends, and the police. The best way to avoid all this is obviously to avoid drugs altogether. Drugs can affect people - and their diabetes - in different ways, depending on the type, amount and purity of the drug.

Information it is important to know:

  • Cannabis can make you feel relaxed and sociable. But people can feel anxious and uneasy after using it and it can give you the 'munchies', which can affect blood glucose levels. It can also make you feel 'out of it' and so forget insulin.
  • Smoking cannabis can make you more at risk of becoming addicted to tobacco.
  • Hallucinogenic drugs, like LSD, cause 'trips' that can last up to 12 hours and can be frightening. They may cause you to forget to take your insulin. Some people use 'uppers', like E or speed, when clubbing to give them energy and confidence. Strenuous activity like continuous dancing causes the body to lose fluids and risk dehydration. You can help prevent this by not mixing uppers with other drugs or alcohol, and drinking non-alcoholic drinks and water. Uppers can suppress appetite and, combined with dancing, run the risk of causing a severe hypo.

You can find this info and more here