Did you know that nearly 30 million Americans in this country have some form of diabetes? Of those that do, more than eight million Americans are undiagnosed and unaware that they have the condition. Two of the first symptoms that they’ll notice that will take them to the doctor’s office to be tested are excess thirst and the frequent urge to go to the bathroom. November is American Diabetes Month, and we here at “The Water Guy” just wanted to take a second and discuss the importance of hydration for diabetics in addition to the general public as a whole.
Why Does High Blood Sugar Make Diabetics Thirstier?
High blood sugar levels increase the chance of becoming dehydrated. This is so because the kidneys are doing everything possible to lower blood sugar to a normal level. This is their normal response mechanism. In order to flush the sugar out of the bloodstream, the kidneys work overtime and excrete the sugar and other waste out through urination. Obviously, water is released during urination as well, so those frequent trips to the bathroom are also causing the individual to lose more water in their body. This could quickly lead to dehydration, and what is one of the more common symptoms of dehydration? That would be excess thirst.
What Can People Do to Manage Their Diabetes and Prevent Dehydration?
First and foremost, everyone should go to the doctor once a year for an annual checkup to make sure everything is ok. A simple blood sugar test and other diagnostic testing will confirm diabetes if the condition is present. It’s important to get treated as early as possible to prevent additional damage to the kidneys and other key organs in the body. The doctor will provide the patient with a treatment plan that many include medical intervention as well as lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or increasing exercise.
If an individual is diabetic, it’s important for him or her to pay close attention to his or her hydration levels. It might not be a bad idea to install a home water system to have a clean source of water at all times when at home. A diabetic should try to carry a water bottle when he or she is on the go or at work as well. And finally, it is important to recognize the symptoms of dehydration to avoid a more dangerous adverse event later on. Dehydration is very common for diabetics, but managing the risk is possible by first getting the diabetes diagnosed and then knowing the symptoms of dehydration and always having access to water.