Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Type 2 diabetes can be benign or ruinous depending on how you respond to it. If you simply choose to ignore high blood sugar levels – the main threat posed by type 2 diabetes – then you’re in big trouble. However, if you take steps to control them, type 2 diabetes scarcely impacts your life. With this in mind, one drink trumps all others: water.
According to Diabetes UK, water is the “best all round” drink for people with diabetes.
Diabetes.co.uk agrees: “As water contains no carbohydrate or calories, it is the perfect drink for people with diabetes.”
Studies have also shown that drinking water could help control blood glucose (sugar) levels.
The findings from one notable study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, suggested that when water intake is increased, this could prevent or delay the onset of hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) and subsequent diabetes.
Participants that consumed more than one litre of water per day had a 28 percent lower risk of developing new onset hyperglycaemia, compared to those drinking less than 500ml of water per day.
The researchers also highlighted the hormone vasopressin – which rises when dehydration occurs – as a possible risk factor for hyperglycaemia and diabetes.
The authors concluded that increased water intake could reduce the likelihood of heightened vasopressin levels.
Another explanation for water’s beneficial effect comes down to fluid expulsion.
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Diabetes.co.uk explains: “The bodies of people with diabetes require more fluid when blood glucose levels are high. This can lead to the kidneys attempting to excrete excess sugar through urine.
“Water will not raise blood glucose levels, which is why it is so beneficial to drink when people with diabetes have high blood sugar, as it enables more glucose to be flushed out of the blood.”
As the health body explains, high blood sugar levels also underscore the need for water.
“Having high blood glucose levels can also increase the risk of dehydration, which is a risk for people with diabetes mellitus.”
It adds” People with diabetes insipidus also have a heightened dehydration risk, but this is not linked to high blood glucose levels.”
Diabetes insipidus is a rare condition where you pee a lot and often feel thirsty.
If you find water uninspiring, why not spruce it up with a slice of fruit, such as orange, lemon or lime.
“Children often need reminding to drink, so give them a colourful water bottle with a funky straw,” advises Diabetes UK.
Type 2 diabetes – do you have it?
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
“See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes,” advises the NHS.
The health body continues: “A GP can diagnose diabetes. You’ll need a blood test, which you may have to go to your local health centre for if it cannot be done at your GP surgery.”
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