Water and Diabetes

by Tim Nicola

WATER AND DIABETES




Have you ever been dying of thirst and a coworker or friend said, "You know, you may have diabetes?" 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 and that 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 had to make some changes to your diet. As mentioned above, drinking water in place of the sugary options is crucial. 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, to keep the body functioning normally, water should be a 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.



Because water has no calories, is low sodium and contains no fat or cholesterol, as stated before is the best supplement for someone with diabetes. Plus, it also have no caffeine, which is a dehydrator. Sugary juices and sodas do contain water and could usually be counted as part of the "eight-glass-a-day" rule, but these drinks must be avoided to prevent increased glucose levels.



When at home, drinking safe tap water is fine (have your water tested and take needed adjustments), but when always on the go, a diabetic should always carry bottled water. Bottled water does have its advantages, as it is portable, and actually kind of you to think about drinking water throughout the day. But, if your bottled water of choice is one of those flavored waters with an artificial sweetener, it actually becomes a soft drink, according to the American Diabetes Association. The ADA does approved of flavored waters with the essence of fruit as great alternatives to plain water.


So, does a diabetic solely have to rely on water as a drink? While diet soft drinks are considered safe for people with diabetes, one should talk to a dietitian or doctor about the amount you should consume. While some here and there could be okay, excess diet drinks can actually cause more thirst and they can also become addictive, leaving the patient not wanted to consume their water! When it comes to juice, a regular size glass of juice is made from several pieces of fruit-- and the carbohydrate grams can add up quickly. Plus, the fiber in juice is much less compared to the whole fruit and the calories add up much quicker too. The same fruit taste could be added by learning to dilute the juice with water and ice so you can get the benefits of water with a fruiter taste.



So in conclusion, pure water should be drank most often. Bottled water with artificial sweeteners are not highly recommended, but bottled water in general is, as it promotes consistent replenishing of fluids throughout the day. And, this water should be a substitute to sugary drinks that are said to heighten glucose levers-- as well as are linked to causing the diseases in the first place.



According to recent news and reports, most tap and well water in the U.S. are not safe for drinking due to heavy industrial and environmental pollution. Toxic bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals routinely penetrate and pollute our natural water sources making people sick while exposing them to long term health consequences such as liver damage, cancer and other serious conditions. We have reached the point where all sources of our drinking water, including municipal water systems, wells, lakes, rivers, and even glaciers, contain some level of contamination. Even some brands of bottled water have been found to contain high levels of contaminants in addition to plastics chemical leaching from the bottle.

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