Water & Diabetes: Three Critical Reasons to Stay Hydrated
Of the many health concerns those with Type-2 Diabetes grapple with each day, none is more important than the increased need to remain hydrated. For those with Type-2 Diabetes, even the slightest decrease in hydration levels can cause serious health problems. Staying hydrated can be particularly challenging for diabetic children, who by their nature may be less compliant with health regimens than adults.
Southport, CT (PRWEB) June 22, 2006
Type-2 diabetes – the body’s inability to regulate sugars, largely caused by lifestyle factors such as obesity, inactivity and smoking – is nearing epidemic proportions in the U. S. The Harvard School of Public Health estimates that more than 21 million Americans are currently living with the chronic disease (though up to a third of them don’t know it), while another 41 million have “pre-diabetes.” What’s more, while Type-2 Diabetes is often called “adult-onset” diabetes, about 46% of the overall cases of diabetes currently diagnosed in children are of the “Type-2” classification.
Of the many health concerns those with Type-2 Diabetes grapple with each day, none is more important than the increased need to remain hydrated. Judy Hochstadt, MD, a Connecticut-based pediatric endocrinologist and diabetologist, explains, “Water is a critical necessity for all of us each day, but for those with Type-2 Diabetes, even the slightest decrease in hydration levels can cause serious health problems.” Nina Riley, founder and CEO of Water Sensations, Inc., adds, “Staying hydrated can be particularly challenging for diabetic children, who by their nature may be less compliant with health regimens than adults. The key for kids – and for many adults – is to make these important directives more fun and enjoyable.”
The Diabetes-Hydration Connection
According to Dr. Hochstadt, the body has an intricate process by which it converts the foods we eat into sugar molecules called glucose and delivers it to the bloodstream. Normally, as energy requirements increase, such as during exercise or other times of physical exertion, the cells receive a message to “open up” to take in the glucose and use it for fuel. At the same time the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream to facilitate sugar utilization by the body’s cells and tissues. In normal individuals, sugar balance is tightly controlled, ensuring that levels don’t spike too high or sink too low. However, in Type-2 diabetes, the body either fails to make enough insulin, or it is resistant to the insulin it does make.
“Even with prediabetes, sugar levels become erratic and the body goes into overdrive to flush out the glucose,” Dr. Hochstadt explains. “It does so by pulling water from cells in order to excrete sugar through urine. For every one glucose molecule excreted, two water molecules must follow; mathematically speaking, it’s fairly easy to see how diabetics are at much greater risk of dehydration,” she adds.
Three Key Reasons to Drink Up
Dr. Hochstadt points out the three top reasons why diabetics – even more so than healthy children and adults – must track their water intake and remain well-hydrated every day:
1. Simple Dehydration occurs countless times during the day to many of us, when we get too busy or forget our water bottle, or when we’re simply not in the mood for a glass of plain H2O. However, in diabetics, skipping a hydrating water break can lead to hyperglycemia – too much sugar in the bloodstream without water to help flush it out – followed by dehydration, as the body robs water from the cells to compensate. Ms. Riley, whose company Water Sensations Inc. makes calorie-free, sugar-free, clear liquid flavor enhancements for drinking water notes, “When water is unappealing, for adults or kids, it’s easy to forget it or delay it. Making it more delicious, whether it’s with a slice of lemon or a sugar-free flavor enhancement, can be instrumental in getting everyone to drink more water.”
2. Exercise-Related Dehydration can occur more quickly in diabetics than in healthy people, and can have more serious consequences. “Because diabetics require extra water to flush high blood sugar from the body, and since the body requires more water in general during sustained periods of physical activity, these two requirements can deplete water levels much faster in diabetics,” Dr. Hochstadt notes. Ms. Riley adds, “It’s even more important for diabetics to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.”
3. Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome is a complicated way of describing the consequences of severe dehydration in patients with Type-2 Diabetes. While the condition is relatively rare, Dr. Hochstadt warns that it is also life threatening. “In HHNS, the patient may develop severe chemical and acid-based imbalances that may precipitate seizures, kidney failure, coma, and possibly death.” The best way to avoid HHNS is to preempt it by staying hydrated; to prevent its most serious complications, patients must catch it in the early stages by monitoring blood sugar levels regularly. “Any unexplained reading over 500mg/dl is a warning sign, and should prompt immediate attention with a call to the doctor.”
“Our bodies are made up of more than 90% water, and while it’s a crucial element for everyone’s good health, it can be a lifesaver for those with Type-2 Diabetes,” Ms. Riley concludes. “Making water more delicious, interesting, flavorful and fun with sugar-free enhancers like Water Sensations can make it easier for kids and adults alike to get the water they need each day to stay healthy.”
Bio: Judith Hochstadt, MD
Judith Hochstadt, M. D. is a leading pediatrician and endocrinologist with extensive practice in the epidemic problems of childhood obesity and diabetes. Dr. Hochstadt is a Diplomate, American Board of Pediatrics, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, member of the AACE, (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists), Endocrine Society, ADA, and NAASO (North American Association for the Study of Obesity). A graduate of Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Hochstadt did her internship, residency and fellowship in Pediatric Enocrinology & Diabetes at Yale New Haven Medical Center. Her research at Yale Involved working with children and adolescents on the prototype insulin pump. She ran a Yale satellite diabetes and endocrinology clinci for 18 years at Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, CT. There, she witnessed firsthand the emergence of the obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus epidenic. She is the past vice president of the Fairfield County Chapter of the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Hochstadt is a Senior Attending in Pediatrics/Pediatric Endocrinology at Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT and has offices in CT in Commerce Park, Fairfield, Huntington, Southport, Trumbull and Stratford.
About Water Sensations, Inc.
Water Sensations, Inc. markets the industry’s newest water enhancer, Water Sensations®, as the first clear liquid flavor enhancer for water. All natural and sweetened with sucralose, Water Sensations® is sugar free, calorie free and carbohydrate free. Water Sensations® is available in more than 3,500 stores in the U. S., including Target, Shop & Stop, The Food Emporium, IGA, Big Y, Krogers and more. Water Sensations, Inc. was founded in 2005 by Nina Riley, a marketing executive with more than 20 years of experience in classic marketing and brand management for companies including Philips Electronics, Unilever, Lipton, General Foods and General Mills. Ms. Riley has developed brand strategy, retail strategic alliances, advertising campaigns and joint ventures for high profile brands including Norelco Razors, Lipton Soups and Side Dishes, Wishbone Salad Dressings, Lawry’s Seasoning, Ragu Chicken Tonight Simmer Sauces, Post Cereal and more. She holds an MBA from Penn State and a BS from Ithaca College. More information on Ms. Riley and her company, Water Sensations, can be found online at www. WaterSensations. com.
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