People with diabetes need to drink plenty of pure water, as diabetes tends to dehydrate the body. Dehydration is the result of losing too much fluid from your body, causing a deficiency of necessary electrolytes in the cells. Severe dehydration is a serious condition that can lead to shock and death. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of dehydration include dry or sticky mouth, a decrease in urine, urine becoming concentrated and dark yellow, the absence of tears, sunken eyes, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.
People with diabetes are at risk of dehydration because when glucose isn’t metabolized properly, the process of excreting it from the body requires extra water — water that’s pulled from your body. No wonder excessive thirst and excessive urination are well-known signs of diabetes. Unless you’re replenishing your fluids by drinking extra water, you will get dehydrated.
1. Keeping your body hydrated isn’t rocket science. The Diabetes Friends Action Network advises that you drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. That’s eight 8-ounce glasses of pure no-calorie, no-fat, no-cholesterol water. You may need double that if you live in the desert. Don’t be fooled by substituting sugary drinks or fruit juice for water. While artificially sweetened diet drinks may be deemed safe by medical authorities for diabetics, drinking them dehydrates you and can lead to weight gain (they shut down your “I’m full” signal).
2. Have I had enough? Just keep sipping water all day. Have an 8-ounce glass handy at home and at work. Sometimes little notes can help you keep track of how much you’ve had. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning — it’s so refreshing! Always order water in restaurants. Drink plenty before your meal, and only take small sips while eating, as water tends to interfere with digestive juices. Get in the habit of bringing water with you when you leave the house.
3. Use a glass or stainless steel container to carry your water. The surge in water bottled in plastic not only has created a huge landfill problem worldwide but there are also carcinogenic chemicals in the plastic that leach into the water. Never reuse a plastic water bottle as the chemicals degrade and get into your body.
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