How to Spot Signs of Dehydration in Type 2 Diabetes
It's important to get ready, stay hydrated, and avoid dehydration with type 2 diabetes. But how do you know if you’re getting enough fluids to beat the heat? Knowing the signs of dehydration in type 2 diabetes is the first step to correcting the problem.
Signs of dehydration in type 2 diabetes
Here are three signs to watch out for:1
Urine color and dehydration
While you may not appreciate analyzing your bathroom habits, it’s a great way to assess your hydration status. Aim for a light-yellow color, similar to lemonade. If your urine is dark yellow or orange, it means that your body is dehydrated. If your urine is clear as water, consider how quickly you consume your water. People who drink too fast may excrete urine that appears well hydrated, but is unabsorbed water from the body.
Weight fluctuations with dehydration
For those who are weight stable, monitoring the number on the scale can help track their hydration status. If your morning weight is less than usual, you may have missed yesterday’s hydration mark. If so, it may require some additional effort to rehydrate the body. Just remember to sip, don’t chug!
That thirsty feeling
If you feel thirsty or have a parched, dry mouth, you are unfortunately already dehydrated. Drink slowly and frequently throughout the day to minimize this bodily cue.
Why is hydration so important?
Have you ever seen how wilted flowers perk up when you water them adequately? Well, our cells also need the right amount of water, so we feel alert and active. Drinking adequate fluids helps with more than energy; it can keep you from eating when you’re not hungry! The next time you want a snack, pause and check your water intake, it could be that you are simply thirsty. The hypothalamus, part of the brain that regulates thirst, often can’t distinguish between thirst and hunger cues. When your dehydrated, your body receives mixed signals on hunger. The bottom line is that drinking enough water throughout the day ensures adequate hydration status and helps deter overeating.
5 easy tips to avoid dehydration
- Carry a water bottle. Eliminate the issue of “out of sight, out of mind.” Having fluids accessible will make you more likely to make hydration an all-day affair. Glass water bottles, covered in silicone to prevent breaking, don’t leave any scents or lingering tastes.
- Keep electrolyte packets handy. On a hot day, even light physical activity can cause you to break quite the sweat! Keep these practical packets in your car, gym bag, or purse for times of need. Choose a low sugar or zero-calorie sugar-substitute electrolyte beverage. If you have high blood pressure, start with half a tablet, or dilute the drink. Always choose those with lower sodium when comparing brands.
- Pre-exercise hydration. 2-3 hours before exercise, consume at least 16 oz of fluid. Then, consume 8 oz of fluid 15 minutes before the workout.2 This ensures that you start your training well hydrated and ready to perform at your best!
- Eat your water. Include high water content veggies with your meals, such as cucumber, celery, lettuce, or watermelon, to replenish water loss throughout the day. Check out these veggies high in water intake.
- Check your urine. If it’s almost clear or light yellow in color, that’s a good sign. Darker colors, on the other hand, indicate you need to rehydrate. Urine color is a simple way to determine your baseline hydration level.3
In the end, hydration is vital for everyone! People with diabetes are at a higher risk of complications due to its negative effect on blood sugar. With a few easy tips, we can continue to let the good times roll. Don't forget to stay hydrated!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?