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Why are we so tired and what can we do about it?

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints that physicians hear from patients. In truth fatigue can be a silent thief; stealing time spent with loved ones, causing you to be unproductive at work, and even setting off symptoms of depression. It is important to treat fatigue, and not just ignore it. With a physical exam and blood work, causes of fatigue can be properly identified. Dehydration in patients with diabetes can be one of the key factors leading to fatigue.

Dehydration in patients with diabetes is all too common and can be extremely dangerous. This is because the metabolism of sugar is a very fluid dependent system that quickly suffers if fluid intake is depleted; potentially contributing to elevated blood sugars.  People who wait until they are thirsty to drink can fall into a dangerous trap. Water is also the best beverage to have at mealtime.

Diet beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners are consumed regularly in this country.  Just because beverages contain no sugar doesn’t mean they should be consumed regularly.  Several studies have shown that diet beverages can contribute to weight gain, the mechanism of which remains unclear, but it is postulated that they can increase hunger. (1)

Fruit juices may seem like a healthy beverage choice, but fruit juice contains concentrated sugars that can raise blood glucose quickly.  It is always a best practice to consume the whole fruit instead of the juice where you can; as the whole fruit also contains good fiber as well, and blood sugars stay much more stable.

Dehydration risks are age-related, also. Remember that as you age your sense of thirst slows; so, it is even more important for senior citizens to drink clear fluids regularly. Dehydration is also dangerous in young children because children have a high body surface area relative to body size and weight, making them vulnerable to lose a lot of fluid through the skin even just by perspiring.

Whether old, young, or in the middle, not drinking enough water while managing diabetes can cause unhealthy weight loss, fatigue, and even high blood glucose. Common signs of dehydration include fatigue, dry mouth, muscle weakness, dizziness, nausea, and rapid breathing.

How much water a patient needs to drink depends on several factors, including health status, activity level, and where a patient lives. Since water cannot be stored in the body, it’s recommended that each person drink 6-8 eight-ounce glasses of water daily.  This can also be even more customized by weight.  Some schools of thought say that you should consume 1/2-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh every day.

If you like flavored water; use orange or lemon slices added to your water to give it a refreshing flavor.  Unsweetened tea is also an option.  Keep your water bottle handy when driving or exercising to ensure that you get plenty of clear fluids - the average adult body is made up of over 60 percent water.  It is important to keep well hydrated.

Stay healthy!! And remember that at TempraMed we are here to protect you and your insulin from damaging temperatures and to keep you safe.

1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/

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