Stay Hydrated to Keep Your Glucose Level in Check by Dr. Joseph Mercola for Mercola
For the first time in more than 20 years, data from the National Center for Health Statistics1 showed a drop in life expectancy in 2015. Life expectancy dropped again in 2017.2 Although the 10 leading causes of death remained the same in 2017 as 2016, they accounted for only 74% of all deaths.3
One of the primary perpetrators of this decline is believed to be drug overdoses, but another major factor pinpointed by a supporting study4 is Type 2 diabetes. An update by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded more than 114 million American adults live with diabetes or prediabetes.5
While conventional medicine still has diabetes pegged as a blood sugar disorder, in reality it’s a disease rooted in insulin resistance6 and faulty leptin signaling. In other words, it’s a diet-derived condition.
Living with diabetes is challenging as elevated blood sugar affects multiple systems in your body and creates daily demands on your time and efforts. With the aid of psychometric tools,7 researchers have begun to realize the devastating effects diabetes has on individuals and family lives. Many of the comorbidities occurring with diabetes further deteriorate quality of life.
As the heat of summer is fast approaching, it is wise to understand the unique effects dehydration has on the body of those experiencing diabetes, and the available preventive measures to avoid hospitalization and potentially even death.
How Type 2 Diabetes Affects Your Body
Diabetes may exert short- and long-term effects on your body.8 Understanding these changes can help prevent complications from developing, including those from dehydration. The medical community’s treatment of diabetes frequently includes the administration of insulin9 to treat the symptom of high blood sugar, and not the underlying insulin resistance and problem with leptin signaling.
Type 2 diabetes may be called noninsulin-dependent diabetes10 since your pancreas continues to produce insulin but the cells are unable to use it properly. In fact, it’s an advanced stage of insulin resistance typically triggered by a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates.
Your body uses the hormone insulin to usher glucose into the cells for use as fuel. In the early to midstages of Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas secretes insulin, but the cells become resistant to the effect. Glucose is not able to enter the cells and therefore builds up in your bloodstream, triggering potentially serious health complications.11
While anyone may develop Type 2 diabetes, you are at higher risk if you are overweight, sedentary, have family members with Type 2 diabetes, have a history of metabolic syndrome or are a woman who has had gestational diabetes.12 Although millions suffer from the condition, it must not be considered an inevitable risk in life.
Those who have diabetes may be at higher risk for blindness, peripheral vascular disease, depression, kidney failure and heart disease.13 Some of the symptoms of uncontrolled high blood sugar include increased thirst and frequent urination.
You may find ketones in the urine, a byproduct of the breakdown of muscle and fat, or you may experience increased fatigue and irritability or blurred vision.14 When you are dehydrated, it may affect your blood glucose measurements and produce a vicious cycle that can end in kidney failure and even death.
Causes and Symptoms of Dehydration
There are several factors that may trigger dehydration, especially during the summer months. Insufficient fluid intake, hot weather and strenuous exercise all contribute to a loss of fluid in your body. Dehydration may also occur with diarrhea, vomiting or alcohol intake.15
Your body is made up of 60% to 70% water, which is used in all cells, organs and tissues to help regulate temperature and maintain function.16 You normally will lose water through breathing, digestion and sweating. With adequate water intake, your body is able to remove waste products through perspiration and urination.