Always make sure that you drink enough fluid. Dehydration is a danger for diabetics, especially when their numbers are high.
When blood volume is low because of dehydration, the concentration of glucose increases. Not only does dehydration increase blood glucose levels, but increased blood glucose levels make dehydration worse because the body disposes of the excess glucose in the urine, leading to increased water loss.
The fluid doesn’t have to be water, but make sure it isn’t something with caffeine such as tea or coffee. Water is pure and mostly free, so why not water?
It’s especially important to stay hydrated during heavy exercise and hot steamy weather. I live near Washington D.C., and every summer we have reports of tourist being overcome by the heat and needing medical attention.
Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, vigorous exercise, illness, high temperatures and humidity and too much alcohol consumption can cause dehydration. The symptoms of mild dehydration are thirstiness, fatigue and headache. People who are moderately to severely dehydrated may experience irritability, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, confusion and potentially, coma and death. Children, elderly people and those with chronic illnesses are more susceptible to dehydration.
People with uncontrolled diabetes may have markedly elevated blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association, reports that persistent glucose levels above 600 mg/dL can cause a hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state, which can be life-threatening. If this state is untreated, severe dehydration will result, leading to seizures, coma and death. Another cause of severe dehydration is ketoacidosis, which more frequently occurs in type-1 diabetics but can also occur in type-2. In the condition of ketoacidosis, glucose levels and ketones are markedly elevated, again leading to excessive urination and severe dehydration.
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty, in many cases you’re already dehydrated before this happens. Just make it a regular habit to drink fluid on a regular basis. Here’s a chart to remind you of the benefits:
© EMO 5/12
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