Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that develops when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Insulin is a hormone that channels the sugar from foods into the body’s cells to be used as fuel.
People with type 1 diabetes no longer make enough insulin on their own. They must take shots or use an insulin pump to deliver the insulin they need to their bodies. However, getting the dose right is a difficult balancing act.
Too much insulin can cause dangerous low blood sugar levels that make people shaky, confused and irritable, and if not treated, can cause someone to pass out and possibly to die.
But too little insulin can lead to high blood sugar levels. Over years, high blood sugar levels can cause the serious complications associated with diabetes, such as heart and kidney disease, vision problems and amputations. Too little insulin can also lead to DKA in as little as a few hours, according to the American Diabetes Association.
In the new study, the researchers invited adult type 1 diabetes patients at a Colorado hospital to complete a survey on marijuana use. Of 450 survey participants, 134 said they used marijuana.