Effects of Water on Blood Sugar Levels

Effects of Water on Blood Sugar Levels

Hyperglycemia versus Hypoglycemia

Diabetes is associated with hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. The difference is that not all diabetics have hypoglycemia as it is just considered low blood sugar. Water is the perfect drink for both conditions because it helps blood glucose levels. For diabetics, they require more fluid when the blood glucose levels increase due to lack of water. The benefit of drinking water is that it excretes excess sugar in the urine, thereby not raising blood glucose levels. These are the differences between hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

 

Drinking Water for Hyperglycemia

A good definition for hyperglycemia and its effects, can be found on the American Diabetes Association website: Hyperglycemia (High Blood Glucose website.

Numerous questions are asked such as:

  • Cause of of hyperglycemia
  • Symptoms of hyperglycemia
  • Treatment for hyperglycemia
  • Untreated hyperglycemia
  • Do you need a Medical ID
  • How to prevent hyperglycemia

If you don’t drink enough water and find that your blood sugars levels are high but not high enough to be called a diabetic, this is what’s referred to as being a “pre-diabetic.” The 2011 study result suggests that adults who only ingested two glasses of water or less every day were more prone to be in the pre-diabetes category versus people who ingested more water. (SOURCE: bit.ly/quKw3E Diabetes Care, online October 12, 2011.)

According to this Reuters articlewhich analyzes this 2011 study, the results were based on a cross section of 3,615 French adults between the ages of 30 and 65 who had normal blood sugar levels at the beginning. The statistics suggest that 19 percent reported that they drank less than half a liter (17 ounces) of water every day while the rest of the group dram up to a liter or more. The results of this group were interesting in that over the next nine years, 565 participants in this study developed high blood sugar and 202 got type 2 diabetes. However, more studies need to be done since this was too small a group to see significant result.

The issue with this study is that although there is a correlation between water ingestion and blood sugar, it does not prove cause and effect. One of the missing puzzle pieces could be in a hormone called vasopressin, also considered an antidiuretic hormone which helps to regulate water retention in the body. It’s interesting that vasopressin receptors are in the liver which is responsible for producing sugar in the body. There needs to be more studies with the hormone vasopressin and its relationship to blood sugar levels in the body.  For the Abstract on this study, check out the National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information on the PubMed.gov website. 

 

Drinking Water for Hypoglycemia

There are two types of hypoglycemia, Reactive Hypoglycemia and just regular Hypoglycemia. The Mayo Clinic describes the difference between both types.

 

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is defined as low blood sugar that occurs once a meal is finished usually within four hours after eating. This is different from hypoglycemia. The cause for reactive hypoglycemia isn’t clear. One of the causes may be the types of food eaten and how it moves through the digestive system. Other causes of reactive hypoglycemia can be alcohol consumption, metabolic disorders, gastric bypass surgery or surgery for ulcers. Reactive hypoglycemia apparently doesn’t require treatment from a medical doctor. Dietary changes can be made to improve this condition.

Here are some steps that can improve this condition:

  • Eating a balanced diet including lean meat and non-meat sources of protein, lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid carbohydrates and high sugar foods such as white bread and pasta
  • Don’t drink alcohol when eating food
  • Eat small meals and snacks all day long about three hours apart
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated

 

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar level is below normal. People may or may not have diabetes who have low blood sugar. When blood sugar levels are very low, immediate attention is required like eating a high sugar snack or drinking a high sugar drink.

Symptoms for hypoglycemia or low blood sugar may include: irregular or quick heartbeat; fatigue; pale skin; shakiness; anxiety; sweating; hunger; irritability; tingling or numbness on the cheek, tongue, or lips. But having the symptoms of low blood sugar can escalate to more serious symptoms such as confusion, blurred vision, visual disturbances, seizures, and loss of consciousness.

Contact your doctor if you have hypoglycemia but don’t have diabetes or if you have diabetes and your hypoglycemia is not responding to candy, sweet soft drinks, or taking glucose if your blood sugar drops.

To prevent hypoglycemia if you have diabetes, it’s important to follow a meal plan. Eat three meals a day in between snacks added in with plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Exercise is important too so perform 30 minutes of exercise after meals. Monitor blood sugar levels if you ingest alcohol. Know when your diabetic medicine is at its peak. Test your blood sugar frequently and carry an ID bracelet that identifies you as a diabetic.

 

In this MedicalNewsToday article, suggestions for prevention of hypoglycemia are as follows:

  • Stay on a regular meal plan and especially eat complex carbohydrate which actually prevents hypoglycemia for a lot of people.
  • Ask your doctor if you should follow a treatment plan and watch for changing symptoms
  • Monitor blood glucose levels on a regular basis and remember how to recognize symptoms
  • Avoid drinking alcohol without food
  • Exercise and before your session, eat a high carbohydrate snack before exercising
  • Be mindful when you are sick as vomiting can be very debilitating and dehydrating so drink plenty of water
  • Be prepared to have a bag of sugary snacks in case symptoms occur unexpectedly
  • Tell people about your low blood sugar especially family, friends, colleagues, and family members just to be on the save side
  • Carry a Medical ID

 

Although hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia refer to the levels of glucose in your blood, they are not the same. Rather, they are at opposite ends of the spectrum. With hyperglycemia, glucose levels are very high, above 126 mg/L when a person is fasting or 200 mg/dL two hours after eating whereas with hypoglycemia, the sugar level is too low below 70 mg/dL.

It’s just as important to stay hydrated for both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia but especially for hyperglycemia since blood sugar levels can build up if not enough water has been ingested and diabetes can reach dangerous levels. This is similar to this article on Calgary Water Pure and Simple website, The Effects of Water on Blood Viscositywhere drinking enough water can actually make your blood flow better which will stop you from getting thick blood. In the case of hyperglycemia, it’s the sugar build up you are trying to avoid whereas with blood viscosity, it’d blood thickness. Regardless of what condition you are experiencing, know that water plays a very important role at keeping your body balanced.

 

LINKS AND REFERENCES

Diabetes.co.uk - Hyperglycemia

Diabetes.co.uk - Hypoglycemia

Diabetes.org

Reuters

National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information on the PubMed.gov

MedicalNewsToday

Calgary Water Pure and Simple
The Effects of Water on Blood Viscosity 


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