Are diabetics more prone to dehydration?
Yes, diabetics essentially have a higher blood glucose level than normal. When you haven’t been drinking enough water, your body will compensate by pulling water out of your bloodstream or anywhere in your body and send it straight to where your body needs it. Pair this with high blood glucose and a lower blood volume—that leads to a continually increasing blood glucose level. This becomes a vicious cycle because your cells become insulin-resistant so the glucose in your blood is not used up efficiently. And then the higher your blood sugar level is, the more you pee, and the more dehydrated you get. The kidney tries to get rid of the sugar in the blood and the only way to do that is to excrete it out along with urine. When not treated early, this can lead to dialysis or even organ failure. Consequently, the easiest solution to this predicament is prevention. And that is hydration!
How to Spot Dehydration
These are signs and symptoms you need to watch out for to monitor dehydration:
- Dark yellow urine
- Tiredness and/or dizziness
- Dry mouth and dry eyes–remember, the body pulls water from wherever it can to bring it to the organ that needs it most
How Much to Drink to Stay Hydrated?
As mentioned, the best way to combat dehydration is prevention. And this prevention is easy and inexpensive, all you need to do is drink water consistently throughout the day. To stay hydrated, here’s a simple formula to identify how much water you need and how often to drink:
- Take your current weight and divide it by 2. This number represents how many ounces of water you need daily. For example: 220/2= 110 ounces.
- Next, divide the number of ounces by eight. This number represents how many 8oz glasses of water you need to drink throughout the day. That’s 110/8= 13.75 (round up to 14).
- Finally, divide the number by the total amount of hours you are awake. This number represents how many glasses of water you need to drink every hour. That’s 14/16= .88 (round up).
Thus, a 220-lb. person needs to drink 110-ounces of water a day or 1 glass of water each hour.
If you are tired of water, unsweetened tea is also a hydrating, low calorie option which also contains healthy antioxidants.
Drinks to Avoid
With the beverage industry churning out a whole plethora of drinks, be careful with “hydration drinks.” The popular coconut water, dairy beverages, and fruit juices are packed with sugar, carbs and calories. Always check the nutrition data of the beverage you are planning to drink.