With the heat of summer finally upon us, it is important to understand how hydration affects diabetes and neuropathy. But first, did you know:
The human body is ~ 70% water and blood is 90% water!
It is no surprise that water is considered an essential nutrient. It is needed for countless processes in the body including digestion, producing energy in our cells and keeping the body cool by sweating. Because water is so essential, if we do not consume enough throughout the day our body can become stressed and no longer function properly.
What happens if I do not drink enough?
If you do not drink enough water during the day, total body water decreases. If more than 1% of total body water is lost, dehydration begins to affect the body’s normal function. This results in lower blood volume, higher blood pressure and higher blood sugar. All of these factors contribute to diabetes or neuropathy progression by stressing small blood vessels in the feet, especially those that supply nerves.
But I am not thirsty…
By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Feeling thirsty should be considered a serious warning sign to get fluids into your body.
How much should I drink?
The average adult should drink 2 L or 8 cups of water per day. If you are physically active or outside in the heat, this amount should be increased by ~0.5 – 1 L.
How do I know if I am properly hydrated?
One of the best, and most scientifically accurate, ways to measure hydration is to look at the colour of your urine. Below is a quick reference chart