The Hydration & Diabetes Link

Diabetes is a world-wide disease. According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017, apparently, 30.3 million people have diabetes (9.4% of the U.S. population). 23.1 million people are diagnosed and 7.2 million people go undiagnosed (23.8% of people with diabetes.) Also, according to the CDC, about 79 million Americans have prediabetes where their bodies are teetering on becoming diabetic.

Now, what has this got to do with keeping hydrated? Over the years we have heard the importance of drinking at least 2 litres a day. Well it has now been studied that the more water you drink, the better fight your body has against the development of high blood sugar levels.

You also reduce your risk of hyperglycemia when you drink more water.

The Link Between Water And Hyperglycemia

There has been research in the last few years which indicates a link between the hormone vasopressin, which regulates water in the body in connection to diabetes. When you are not hydrated enough, vasopressin is released in the body. Vasopressin sends messages to the kidneys to hold onto water and tells the liver to release stored blood sugar. It raises the blood pressure as well. Excess sugar should be passed out of the body in urine, but if the body does not have the correct water and vasopressin balance, the kidneys will not have the opportunity to not make urine.

“Not drinking enough water could be similar to what we see in people who consume a lot of cholesterol,” says James R Gavin III, MD, PhD who is a clinical professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Gavin is also a head of the Partnership for a Healthier America, which is an initiative to fight obesity in childhood. He states that lots of cholesterol as well as fat in the diet may lead to some people being more susceptible to type 2 diabetes. He also states that it contributes to the hardening of the arteries.

Gavin goes on to state that “Insufficient fluid intake may also influence susceptibility to diabetes.”

By not drinking water, overeating and weight gain can occur. Health writer, Phyllis Edgerly, states that a research report from as far back as 2001 found that, “In 37% (of Americans) the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.” What happens with dehydration is that it also slows down the body’s metabolism and is a major cause of fatigue.

Having a slowed down metabolism only leads to weight gain. Often a slow metabolism, weight gain and diabetes are all linked.

How Much Water Do We Need

Taking into account that our bodies are roughly made up of 50% of water, as an adult, and up to 75% in a newborn baby, it makes for common sense at the level of how important hydrating oneself is. All this hydration is part of a healthy lifestyle and Authority Health can enlighten you by giving you amazing health tips and beneficial knowledge of how to lead a healthier life.

Written on his site, “The Water Cure”, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, MD, states that, “Through activities of daily living, the average person loses about 3-4 liters of fluid a day in sweat, urine, exhaled air, and bowel movement. What is lost must be replaced by the fluid we drink and the food we eat. We lose approximately 1-2 liters of water a day just from breathing.” Therefore we need to be drinking 2-3 liters of water a day.

Men’s bodies actually need more water than women due to their higher fat-free mass and energy

dissipation. Babies, toddlers and young children’s bodies need more water as their urine cannot be concentrated as efficiently as older children and adults and the area of their surface in comparison to their weight is larger, which creates to more water loss from the skin. The elderly also need to keep a watchful eye on their water intake as their sensation for thirst goes away the older you become as is the ability to concentrate the urine.

Things That Cause A Need For Water

Besides naturally needing water on a regular basis just for daily functioning, there are certain things that actually make your body need more water. These things are:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Physical Activity
  • High Altitude
  • Hot Weather
  • Dry Air
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • High Fiber Intake
  • High Blood Sugar

Why Diabetics Urinate Often

High blood sugar is a big cause for more water consumption as the need for thirst is increased and that is why you will also find diabetics needing to urinate often. Actually, when kidneys filter blood to produce urine, they reabsorb all of the sugar, and in essence return it to the bloodstream. When one suffers from diabetes, the level of sugar found within the blood is abnormally high. What happens next is that not all of the sugar can be absorbed and some of this excess glucose from the bloodstream ends up in the urine where it draws more water.

This is not a comfortable sensation – having to urinate all the time and can become very inappropriate. These inappropriate times occur especially when you are at work or even if you are simply enjoying yourself with friends at the beach, movies or even at a music concert. There are some natural remedies that can help with this such as eating boiled spinach, drinking cranberry juice, upping your yogurt intake and adding cinnamon powder to most things. Mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drinking it once a day every few days will also be beneficial. Ingesting two tablespoons of white vinegar mixed with half a cup of warm water, mixing cumin seeds with warm water and doing kegel exercises will also assist in treating frequent trips to the loo.

Blood Sugars & Water

When you have higher-than-normal blood sugar, blood becomes thicker. When this happens there is a potential of increasing insulin resistance. Drinking water may help glucose enter the cells by making blood less sticky.

Side Effects Of Diabetes Dehydration

If you suffer from Type 1 Diabetes and happen to become very dehydrated, your body can react by getting headaches, becoming dizzy and nauseas as well as fainting.

What’s even more serious is that with people who have diabetes, dehydration can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This condition makes acids that naturally occur in the body to build up and this can lead to coma, organ failure or even death.

Dehydration also causes the body to release adrenalin and other hormones in the body which then blocks insulin. For people suffering with Type 2 Diabetes, dehydration causes glucose to stop breaking down almost completely.

Dehydration in conjunction with any type of Diabetes can also lead to lack of consciousness, severe impairment or shock to the body.

How To Know When You Need Water

  • Thirst. This is, of course, a tell-tale sign that your body needs water. It may be a hot day or you are busy working out or just need to drink, your body will let you know. But, as you get older that “inner-knowing” when to drink water is not so clear and people often mistake this desire for hunger. The same goes with people who suffer from diabetes. Some people actually ignore the need to drink which is not a healthy choice as the body always knows what’s best.

James Pendergast of ‘Diabetes Information Network’ says that if you suffer with diabetes,

“You can’t rely on your sense of thirst to keep yourself well hydrated. If you wait until you

are thirsty to drink water, you’re waiting too long.”

  • Dark Urine. When you urinate, your urine should be light in color and there should be sufficient amounts. If your urine is dark, it can indicate that the body needs water and is doing its best to conserve its supply.
  • Skin Tone. This is an interesting and fast indication of whether you are or aren’t hydrated enough. If you pinch your skin between your thumb and pointer finger, and are well hydrated your skin should quickly snap right back into place. If it goes back slowly, it is an indication that your body is dehydrated and you need to drink water.
  • Common Sense. If you are working out hard and sweating or breathing hard, you will be losing water and will need to replace it. The same goes with very hot weather. Certain parts of the world like areas of the Middle East are so hot and humid that one must carry a large bottle of water with them wherever they go. The sweating that can take place in these parts of the world is profound and the air can literally feel hot and sweaty, almost like stepping into a sauna.

How To Get Hydrated Without Drinking Water

You may not be the biggest water fan and may rather want to get hydrated from other sources. Roughly 20% of the water we take into our bodies comes from food and there are certain foods that are mainly comprised of water such as lettuce, watermelon, broccoli and apples. You just need to be careful when ingesting watermelon as well as grapes because of their high sugar content.

You need to remember to be exceptionally careful when drinking pure fruit juice. It’s best to dilute 50% of it with water. You also have the option of juicing vegetables and you can really get creative here. Carrots always add a sweet flavor to juices. A whole meal can be comprised of mainly water in the form of soups where there are so many varieties. Water can also be substituted with non-caffeinated herbal teas and there certainly are a large range out there. The best choices for herbal teas, if you suffer with insulin resistance or diabetes, are teas containing cinnamon (this helps lower blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes), chamomile tea, green tea, coriander tea, and bilberry tea.

At the end of the day just remember that even when your diabetes is masterfully controlled, you may still suffer from fluctuations in blood sugars. The body automatically knows to get rid of extra sugar in the bloodstream.

The Kidney Connection

When glucose levels are running high, your kidneys work overtime to flush out the sugar.

Just remember how important water is for the kidneys. Kidney stones can be caused due to a lack of water in the body. If your kidneys are abused by too much alcohol and not drinking enough water, a kidney dialysis may be in your future. A kidney dialysis keeps your body in balance by removing waste, extra water and salt in order to prevent them from building up in the body. You need to keep a watchful eye and make sure you are receiving a healthy amount of certain chemicals in your body , such as sodium, bicarbonate as well as potassium to help you control your blood pressure.

Best Sources For Water

Bottled mineral water is obviously a great source of water. It should then be moved into a healthy water bottle that can be used repeatedly. Ideally it should contain a good amount of:

  • Calcium – Helps the nervous function function healthily and lowers blood pressure.
  • Magnesium – Vital for producing cell energy and aids bone health.
  • Sodium – Regulates blood pressure and blood volume and helps with muscle and nerve function.
  • Potassium – Helps conduct electrical impulses within cells and controls blood pressure.
  • Bicarbonate – Helps regulate acidity in the body and keep pH levels. There is no recommended daily amount.

It’s also important to keep water filters at home. When dining out and especially, when traveling, always purchase mineral water, preferably a brand you recognize.

Everything is interrelated inside the body. Watch your sugar intake, balance your salts and water and you will lead a much healthier lifestyle with less sugar spikes during the day. Remember to keep a handy water container nearby at all times and when the urge comes, drink up! Diabetes is no joke and when it can be more controlled with the amount of water you drink the happier and healthier your body will be!