Water Education - Water and Health

Water and Diabetes

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Have you ever been dying of thirst and a coworker or friend said, "You know, you may have diabetes?" It sounds like a stretch, but in reality, thirst can be a signal of this disease that is taking America by storm.


So why is thirst linked to diabetes? According to a 1995 CNN.com article, with diabetes, excess blood sugar, or glucose, in your body draws water from your tissues, making you feel dehydrated. To quench your thirst, you drink a lot of water and other beverages which leads to more frequent urination. If you notice unexplained increases in your thirst and urination, see your doctor. It may not necessarily mean you have diabetes. It could be something else.

If you already have diabetes, then you know that you already have to make some changes to your diet. As mentioned above, drinking water in place of sugary options is crucial. Water is, according to diabetes specialists, important for everybody, but especially for diabetes patients, because even a small decrease in the hydration level could cause serious health problems for diabetics. One of the best warning signs that glucose levels are high is thirst. And, water is the best way to quench that thirst and to break down those sugars. Also, in order to keep the body functioning normally, water should be constant. But, water can be lost through exercise and normal exposure to high temps. With that, being hydrated will help prevent fatigue and help physical performance.

A study presented at the annual meeting of the American diabetes association included 3,615 men and women with normal blood sugar levels at the beginning of the study. Those who reported they drank more than 36 ounces of water a day (4.5 cups) were 21% less likely to develop hyperglycemia over the next 9 years than those who said they drank 16 ounces (2 cups) or less daily. The analysis took into account other factors that can affect the risk of high blood sugar such as physical activity, age, weight, etc. According to this study, people who drink more water could share some unmeasured factor that associates drinking more water and lowering the risk of high blood sugar.

Because pure water has no calories, no sodium, and contains no fat or cholesterol, as stated before it is the best supplement for someone with diabetes. Plus, it also has no caffeine, which is a dehydrator. Sugary juices and sodas do contain water but cannot be counted as part of the "eight-glass-a-day" rule. These drinks must be avoided to prevent increased glucose levels.

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