How many glasses of water does a fasting diabetic patient need to drink daily in the holy month of Ramadan? What is the effect of dehydration on the diabetic?
Diabetes is a disease that causes high blood glucose, and if uncontrolled, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves in the body. It can also cause complications such as kidney failure, blindness, and cardiovascular disease.
But while medication, exercise, and a healthy diet can lower your blood sugar, it's also important to stay hydrated. High blood sugar can also reduce fluid levels in the body, which can lead to dehydration, according to a report in Healthline.
What effect does dehydration have on a diabetic?
Dehydration and diabetes can go hand in hand. In fact, thirst and dry mouth — both signs of mild dehydration — are often the first signs of diabetes.
But, what is the relationship between diabetes and dehydration?
This association has to do with how the body responds to high blood sugar.
Diabetes means that your body is not producing insulin or is not using it properly. It is a hormone that allows the body's cells to absorb sugar into the bloodstream, and then use that sugar for energy.
If your body doesn't use insulin properly, sugar can build up in your bloodstream. When blood sugar remains high for a long time, your kidneys must work harder to clear and remove excess glucose. This is caused by urination. It is this increase in urination that leads to dehydration, especially if it does not replace lost fluids.
And excessive thirst is one of the initial symptoms of diabetes.
Diabetes thirst increases when your body loses too much water from urination caused by high blood sugar.
Even if you drink a lot, you may still feel thirsty or dehydrated, because your kidneys will continue to produce more urine to flush out excess glucose.
This cycle continues as long as blood sugar is too high.
How much water should a diabetic drink in Ramadan?
Keeping your blood sugar within a normal range helps your body maintain a healthy fluid balance and helps you stay hydrated.
Drinking water not only fights dehydration, but it can also help your body get rid of excess glucose.
If you have diabetes, drink plenty of fluids — about 1.6 liters or 6.5 cups a day for women and two liters or 8.5 cups a day for men, and that's at least.
This includes not only water, but also liquids such as sugar-free tea, soups, fruits, vegetables and coffee.
But while water is a great holistic drink and is highly recommended to increase fluid intake and prevent dehydration, other drinks are also effective in treating dehydration.
These fluids include:
- Water with a little lemon juice
- Drink decaffeinated and sugar-free herbal teas
- Skim milk
- Sugar-free coffee
On the other hand, diabetics are advised to avoid:
- Energy Drinks
- Fruit Juices
- and soft drinks
These drinks contain a lot of sugar and can increase its percentage in the blood
Symptoms of severe dehydration
- low blood pressure
- Weak pulse
Some factors can worsen dehydration, such as:
- Exposure to hot and humid weather
- Strenuous exercise
- Drink caffeinated drinks.
If you have signs of mild dehydration, drinking more water can help restore your fluid level.
If you have severe signs of dehydration, such as confusion, low blood pressure and a weak pulse, see your doctor.
Diabetes medications that excrete glucose in the urine
If a diabetic person is taking SGLT2 inhibitors, a type of oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults, they should make sure to drink plenty of water, because they work by excreting sugar into the blood.
The drugs are called sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors (SLGT2i) or gliflozins, according to Diabetes.org.uk.
SGLT2 inhibitors can help lower blood sugar levels by:
- Lowering the threshold of glucose that is absorbed into the kidneys until it is excreted in the urine
- Reduce the amount of glucose in the blood
The best drink for a diabetic patient in Ramadan
The answer is water, as water will not raise blood glucose levels. That is why it is very useful to drink it when diabetics have high blood sugar, because it can expel more glucose from the blood.
If you don't like the taste of water, adding a slice of fruit, such as an orange or lemon, can help. You can also prepare sliced slices of this fruit and store them in the freezer ready for use.
Be wary of flavored bottled water, as some contain a relatively high amount of sugar.
Other flavored bottled water contains sweeteners that should be better for blood sugar levels than sweetened ones, but are still as unhealthy as plain water.