Smoking During Pregnancy = Diabetes?

By Pegsy Latest Reply 2015-02-14 09:48:31 -0600
Started 2015-02-10 18:55:01 -0600

This morning I heard a short little blip on the news that said people who's mother smoked during pregnancy were 2 to 3 times more likely to be diabetic. If the father also smoked the risk increases. My mother started smoking at the age of 13. She did not stop or reduce her smoking while pregnant with me. I was born 7 weeks premature and weighed only 3.5 pounds at birth. My birth father was also a heavy smoker. Growing up, I was regularly enveloped in cigarette smoke in an enclosed environment. My grandparents were all smokers as well. Cigars, pipes, cigarettes, you name it, they smoked it. Was I doomed even before I was born? I tell my doctors that I was a second hand smoker for the first 20 years of my life. They do take note of that in my file. I wish I could find more info on this. Has anyone else heard this? I am curious to know how many of us had smokers for parents.

21 replies

Type1Lou 2015-02-14 09:48:31 -0600 Report

My mother was a non-smoker for her entire 98-year life and my Dad stopped smoking in his 20's. I wasn't born until he was in his 50's. He was diagnosed with diabetes in his 60's and I was dx'd at age 27.

haoleboy 2015-02-11 21:49:06 -0600 Report
Pegsy 2015-02-12 07:13:33 -0600 Report

Thanks you for tracking that down, Steve. Quoting from the article you posted, "In previous studies, fetal exposure to cigarette smoke has also been linked to higher rates of obesity and low birth weight. This study found that birth weight did not effect whether the daughters of smoking parents developed diabetes.
"We found that smoking of parents is by itself a risk factor for diabetes, independent of obesity or birth weight," said La Merrill. "If a parent smokes, you're not protected from diabetes just because you're lean."

I was doomed even before I was born. :~( At least I can stop blaming myself for it and move on. Just work with what I have and make the best of things.

kimfing 2015-02-11 21:30:13 -0600 Report

Interesting. Im just like u same weight at birth n all. I was dx t1 almost two yrs ago. Although d runs in family, but mostly t2

BreC 2015-02-11 19:30:21 -0600 Report

Both of my parents were diabetics and neither were smokers. I smoked for 30+ years and quit in Oct 2014.

GabbyPA 2015-02-11 13:06:25 -0600 Report

Both of mine smoked as well. My mom quit when I was in elementary school and my dad didn't quit until he was diagnosed with diabetes in 1995. Then he quit cold turkey. I don't know that it contributed to me being diabetic, but it's a complicated disease and who knows all the contributing factors. My whole family is or was type 2.

suecsdy 2015-02-11 18:51:27 -0600 Report

It's my understanding that having family members who are diabetic increases the odds for you. And having it on both sides of the family, be on the lookout.

GabbyPA 2015-02-12 10:05:51 -0600 Report

Yep, but we are the first in the line to be hit, that we know of. But all 4 of us became type 2's at different stages in our lives. I am almost glad I didn't have any children to pass that mess on to. My brother has one daughter, so I hope they are keeping an eye on her. Smokers and diabetes, oh boy.

Pegsy 2015-02-11 10:11:26 -0600 Report

In defense of my parents…they didn't know then about the dangers of smoking that we know now. Recently I was watching some old movies and was struck by the fact that nearly every character in every movie was smoking. And I was shocked that some of them were children! It was really the "in" thing during the prime of my parents' lives.

GabbyPA 2015-02-12 10:08:54 -0600 Report

Actually, for many years it was encouraged by doctors to smoke. If you look at some old ads, they are kind of creepy now. Sames goes with corn syrup. Look at some old Kayro ads and your skin will crawl. So just like everything man made, it has a consequence. It is touted as a miracle thing at first, but it has a hidden effect down the road that we find out too late about. Drugs, foods, fads and trends....stick to what god gave us and we will be safer.

Pegsy 2015-02-12 12:42:19 -0600 Report

I wholeheartedly agree with that! I sometimes wonder if a lot of my mother's health issues had to do with all that hormone replacement therapy. Have you seen the old adds for that? I recall one that showed an older unhappy looking woman. The add was actually directed toward her husband. Instructing him to get her on hormones so she would look prettier and have a better attitude. Seriously?

GabbyPA 2015-02-12 18:07:40 -0600 Report

My hubby blames his "man boobs" on his moms use of hormone replacement when she was pregnant. I don't know if that's why they happen, but it makes sense to me. LOL

RosalieM 2015-02-11 05:42:32 -0600 Report

Hi Pegsy
My Father was a smoker, I spent a lot of time with him in a closed car. I used to
have a lung problem if I caught a cold. However I embarked on as healthy of a
lifestyle as I could figure out over the years. I haven't had a cold, virus or bacterial infection in 8 years. If I got one, then I would know if I still have a lung problem. I credit my good fortune to not eating meat that has been fed antibiotics in their feed everyday along with a healthy, low carb, whole foods diet, and regular exercise.. I started that 8 years ago and have had no infections since that. Being diabetic, I used to get bacterial infections on a regular bases,
along with colds etc..

Pegsy 2015-02-12 18:26:05 -0600 Report

Since I have a much healthier diet now, I hardly ever get sick and when I do, it is extremely mild and doesn't last long. It still shocks me, how healthy I have been as a diabetic. The changes I have had to make have benefited me in so many other ways. Despite diabetes, I am healthier now than I have ever been.

RebDee 2015-02-10 22:06:32 -0600 Report

My Dad smoked Chesterfield Regular cigarettes and died of lung cancer at 60 years of age. I smoked from 16 to 25 years of age Then I saw my first autopsy as a respiratory therapy student. The pathologist said these black lungs are the lungs of a smoker. I quit the same day and have not smoked since. I am now 72.

Pegsy 2015-02-11 06:09:55 -0600 Report

I'm glad you quit, RebDee. Congratulations! My mother died suddenly at the age of 73. She was on more meds than I could count, suffering from obesity, diabetes, extremely high cholesterol and BP, fatty liver, and cardiovascular disease. One area of her heart had a 100% blockage that they didn't dare touch, surgically. She controlled everyone and everything but herself. She did quit smoking in her fifties but decades of damage had already been done.

GeekonBoard 2015-02-10 21:46:06 -0600 Report

I had a smoker for a parent. My Dad was a heavy smoker for most of my childhood. In fact, I can remember being shut in the car with him on trips anywhere (but especially on long family trips) & even when he cracked the window thinking the smoke was all getting sucked out the car…I would have my head buried in my pillow I would haul everywhere & feel like I couldn't breath & that it stunk. But, I also know that I had a history of diabetes on both my paternal & maternal side of the family. I did a google search on smoking during pregnancy & possibly aiding in that child later getting diabetes. There were many websites & pieces that have signs that point to yes & possibly.
Have you thought about requesting a copy of your medical record to see if this has been noted in your chart? I would be curious to ask my PCP what their opinion was on the subject. Very interesting subject Pegsy!

Pegsy 2015-02-11 06:13:15 -0600 Report

I too remember feeling ill and being unable to breathe in the car with my parents. I remember one day gathering up the courage to protest and my dad immediately cracked his window but my mother turned around and yelled at me for complaining. I just curled up in a ball on the floor. This was before seat belts were required by law.