The Connection Between Hydration and Diabetes
Drinking water frequently throughout the day is probably one of the most recommended dietary changes when it comes to a healthy body. This is especially true for diabetics; while drinking water isn’t the cure for diabetes, nor has it been proven to lower blood glucose levels on its own, it does however help support kidney function, flush out excess sugar and keep you from becoming dehydrated, which is a serious problem for many diabetics.
One of the first symptoms of high blood sugar is excessive thirst. Kidneys need water to eliminate the excess glucose diabetics produce, and if they don’t have enough fluid, they will steal it from other parts of the body. This process will eventually lead to the body’s cells becoming depleted of necessary fluid and will cause dehydration. Since the kidneys rely on adequate water and hydration to function, chronic dehydration puts a severe strain on the kidney’s ability to function and can lead to kidney failure; a common problem with uncontrolled diabetes. Drinking plenty of water every day helps to keep the kidneys functioning properly and delay the onset of kidney failure.
Obviously, a diabetic must limit the intake of excess sugar and the first thing dieticians recommend is to stop drinking ALL sugary drinks completely. Replacing sugary drinks with filtered water not only reduces overall calorie consumption and sugar intake, but it might even help in the prevention of high blood sugar.
A clinical study was conducted which determined that individuals who consumed 16 ounces or less of water each day were thirty percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank increased amounts of water. Researchers found a connection between high blood sugar levels and the hormone vasopressin, which helps the body to regulate hydration; when a person is dehydrated, vasopressin levels increase and in turn prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar. Ongoing research is being conducted on this topic and the correlation that proper hydration has on preventing diabetes, but increasing your daily intake of water can certainly help.
Maintaining blood glucose at the correct levels is a daily, and sometimes hourly, battle for diabetics. Proper diet, exercise and drinking plenty of water will help keep those levels from fluctuating so dramatically. Many physicians and dietitians recommend keeping a bottle of filtered water with you at all times, not only will it serve as reminder to keep drinking throughout the day, it will ensure you never become dehydrated.
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