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Why Do You Get Dehydrated With Hyperglycemia?

Why Does Diabetes Make You So Thirsty?

Why Does Diabetes Make You So Thirsty?

Excessive thirst, or polydipsia, can be triggered by different factors such as eating too much salt or taking medications that cause dry mouth. Thirst is also a symptom of diabetes. For people with diabetes, thirst can be a sign of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. The kidneys play a vital role in regulating levels of blood sugar by filtering the blood and absorbing excess glucose. When very high levels of sugar build up in the blood, the kidneys can’t keep up and they produce more urine than normal — a condition known as polyuria. As a result, you can become dehydrated. “People who have well-controlled diabetes should be at no increased risk for excessive thirst compared with somebody who doesn’t have diabetes,” says Noah Bloomgarden, MD, assistant professor of medicine-endocrinology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and clinical endocrinologist in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. “It’s really poor control of one’s blood sugar and an increase in urination and excretion of water that makes people [with diabetes] feel very thirsty and increases their need to maintain water balance.” As Dr. Bloomgarden points out, even people who are doing a good job of controlling their diabetes can develop very high blood sugar. A cold, infection, or even a very stressful situation can cause blood sugar to rise, and excessive thirst may be the first sign that something is wrong. “If you’re experiencing excessive thirst, you should contact your doctor immediately, because it may indicate severe hyperglycemia,” says Bloomgarden. If you have diabetes and you’re not sure whether you’re unusually thirsty, Bloomgarden suggests that you check your blood sugar. If your blood sug Continue reading >>

Dizziness (dizzy)

Dizziness (dizzy)

Dizziness is a symptom that is often applies to a variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation of spinning, while lightheadedness is typically described as near fainting, and weakness. Some of the conditions that may cause lightheadedness in a patient include low blood pressure, high blood pressure, dehydration, medications, postural or orthostatic hypotension, diabetes, endocrine disorders, hyperventilation, heart conditions, and vasovagal syncope. Vertigo is most often caused by a problem in the balance centers of the inner ear called the vestibular system and causes the sensation of the room spinning. It may be associated with vomiting. Symptoms often are made worse with position changes. Those with significant symptoms and vomiting may need intravenous medication and hospitalization. Vertigo is also the presenting symptom in patients with Meniere's Disease and acoustic neuroma, conditions that often require referral to an ENT specialist. Vertigo may also be a symptom of stroke. Most often, dizziness or lightheadedness is a temporary situation that resolves spontaneously without a specific diagnosis being made. Introduction to dizziness (feeling dizzy) Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms that will prompt a person to seek medical care. The term dizziness is sometimes difficult to understand since it means different things to different people. It is either the sensation of feeling lightheaded as if the individual is weak and will pass out, or it describes vertigo or the sensation of spinning, as if the affected person just got off a merry-go-round. Lightheadedness is often caused by a decrease in blood supply to the brain, while vertigo may be caused by disturbances of the inner ear and the balance centers of the brain. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Dehydration: A Dangerous Combination

Diabetes And Dehydration: A Dangerous Combination

When you experience vomiting, nausea, fever, diarrhea, or any form of infection, you should immediately contact your physician. I can’t really emphasize enough the importance of getting treatment and getting it fast. To drive home this point, I’ll share the following experience. Some years ago, I got a call from a woman at about four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. She wasn’t my patient, but her diabetologist was out of town for the weekend with no backup for emergencies. He had never taught her what I teach my patients — the contents of this chapter. She found my Diabetes Center in the white pages of the phone book. She was alone with her toddler son and had been vomiting continuously since 9:00 a.m. She asked me what she could do. I told her that she must be so dehydrated that her only choice was to get to a hospital emergency room as fast as possible for intravenous fluid replacement. While she dropped off her son with her mother, I called the hospital and told them to expect her. I got a call 5 hours later from an attending physician. He had admitted her to the hospital because the emergency room couldn’t help her. Why not? Her kidneys had failed from dehydration. Fortunately, the hospital had a dialysis center, so they put her on dialysis and gave her intravenous fluids. Had dialysis not been available, she would likely have died. As it turned out, she spent five days in the hospital. Clearly, a dehydrating illness is not something to take lightly, not a reason to assume your doctor is going to think you’re a hypochondriac if you call every time you have one of the problems discussed in this chapter. This is something that could kill you, and you need prompt treatment. Why is it, then, that diabetics have a more serious time with dehydrating illness th Continue reading >>

Hyperglycaemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycaemia (high Blood Sugar)

Hyperglycaemia is the medical term for a high blood sugar (glucose) level. It's a common problem for people with diabetes. It can affect people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, as well as pregnant women with gestational diabetes. It can occasionally affect people who don't have diabetes, but usually only people who are seriously ill, such as those who have recently had a stroke or heart attack, or have a severe infection. Hyperglycaemia shouldn't be confused with hypoglycaemia, which is when a person's blood sugar level drops too low. This information focuses on hyperglycaemia in people with diabetes. Is hyperglycaemia serious? The aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar levels as near to normal as possible. But if you have diabetes, no matter how careful you are, you're likely to experience hyperglycaemia at some point. It's important to be able to recognise and treat hyperglycaemia, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Occasional mild episodes aren't usually a cause for concern and can be treated quite easily or may return to normal on their own. However, hyperglycaemia can be potentially dangerous if blood sugar levels become very high or stay high for long periods. Very high blood sugar levels can cause life-threatening complications, such as: diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a condition caused by the body needing to break down fat as a source of energy, which can lead to a diabetic coma; this tends to affect people with type 1 diabetes hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state (HHS) – severe dehydration caused by the body trying to get rid of excess sugar; this tends to affect people with type 2 diabetes Regularly having high blood sugar levels for long periods of time (over months or years) can result in permanent damage to parts Continue reading >>

What To Do If You Get Gastroenteritis:

What To Do If You Get Gastroenteritis:

Gastroenteritis causes diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration and the loss of sodium and potassium (electrolytes). The disease puts a stress on your body and often causes an increase in blood glucose (sugar) levels. The two main culprits are stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline) and lack of physical activity when you are ill. In rare cases, blood glucose (sugar) levels will fall. Measure your blood glucose (sugar) frequently; Continue to take your medication or insulin as usual (or as adjusted by your doctor while you are sick), even if your food intake is reduced because you’ve lost your appetite or are vomiting; Modify your diet: if you find it difficult to eat solid foods, try to eat the usual amount of carbohydrates in liquid form or, at the very least, satisfy your body’s minimum carbohydrate requirements of 150 g per day while you are ill. What are the signs of dehydration? Mild to Moderate Dehydration Severe Dehydration Dry, sticky mouth Extreme thirst Unusual sleepiness or tiredness Irritability and confusion Dry and cool skin Sunken eyes Headache Dry skin that doesn't bounce back when you pinch it Dizziness and lightheadedness Low blood pressure Rapid heartbeat and breathing Dark urine in smaller quantity Call a doctor or go to Emergency if: Signs of severe dehydration; Your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than 25 mmol / L accompanied by excessive drowsiness (type 2 diabetes), or 20 mmol / L with a moderate to high ketone level in your urine or blood (type 1 diabetes); You are vomiting continuously and unable to keep liquids down; Your fever stays above 38.5 ºC (101.3 ºF) for more than 48 hours; Diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours or occurs more than 5 times per day. How to avoid becoming dehydrated Here are some ways to avoid dehydra Continue reading >>

5 Best Tips To Manage Diabetes When You’re Sick

5 Best Tips To Manage Diabetes When You’re Sick

Whether you are sick or are just getting older, there are times in life when you don’t feel much like eating. If you’re eating fewer calories because you’ve lost your appetite, you’ll probably need to pay closer attention to your blood sugars and adjust your diabetes medications. Here are some tips from the experts to help you manage your diabetes: 1. Stay hydrated You can easily get dehydrated if you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Your main risk from dehydration is hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Taking certain cold medications, skipping diabetes medications and eating food erratically can also sometimes lead to high blood sugar. “When you’re ill, it’s very important to check your blood sugar regularly, continue to take medications on a schedule and drink fluids regularly,” says diabetes specialist Bartolome Burguera, MD. If your blood sugar goes over 250, check your urine for keytones, which are produced when your body has difficulty processing blood sugar, and call your doctor, Dr. Burguera says. 2. Change up your diet When you’re not able to eat as much as normal or don’t have an appetite, meal replacement drinks are often helpful. “Nutritional shakes formulated for people with diabetes have a moderate amount of carbohydrate, which is appropriate,” Dr. Burguera says. You can also make homemade meal-replacement shakes using: Frozen fruit A protein source (e.g., protein powder, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, tofu) Milk, soy milk or almond milk “Noodle soups are also typically well tolerated and the noodles offer carbohydrates, which may help prevent low blood sugars,” he says. 3. Create a sick-day tool kit Dr. Burguera suggests putting together a “sick-day diabetes tool kit” that includes things you can eat or drink when you aren’t Continue reading >>

Everyday Dehydration Is Having A Major Effect On Your Blood Sugar Levels

Everyday Dehydration Is Having A Major Effect On Your Blood Sugar Levels

Stop and think for a second: Are you dehydrated right now? Are you sure? According to the Institute of Medicine, 75 percent of Americans live with a condition called chronic dehydration. This means that even though you’re drinking fluids throughout the day, your body still isn’t getting the amount it needs to thrive. In fact, chronic dehydration is so common that our bodies get used to it. That’s why you may not feel thirsty, even when your cells are craving some much-needed H2O. People with diabetes are especially prone to daily dehydration. As glucose builds up in the bloodstream, your kidneys are forced to work extra hard to filter out the excess sugar. If they can’t keep up, that sugar is flushed out of your system through urine. High blood sugar can also cause your body to pull fluids from important tissues, such as the lenses of your eyes, muscle tissue, and brain tissue. If left untreated, everyday dehydration can take a pretty serious toll on your blood glucose levels. When your body is lacking fluids, it creates a hormone called vasopressin, which causes your kidneys to retain as much fluid as possible. By keeping in those liquids, your kidneys are also hoarding unwanted glucose. On top of that, high levels of vasopressin in your bloodstream can also cause the liver to produce additional blood sugar. Over time, this can lead to consequences like insulin resistance and chronic hyperglycemia. The good news is that dehydration is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest health problems to overcome: Just drink more water! Most people are familiar with the 8×8 rule–everyone should drink eight ounces of water, eight times a day. However, experts at the Mayo Clinic say it isn’t so simple. The amount of water your body needs depends on a variety of factor Continue reading >>

Dehydration

Dehydration

Dehydration is a generally dangerous condition for any animal, in which the tissues are low on water. It is particularly likely in poorly-regulated or hyperglycemic diabetics, and also particularly dangerous for them, because it can quickly trigger diabetic ketoacidosis. Those with diabetes are at risk for dehydration as it is triggered by hyperglycemia[1]. Excessive thirst (medical term polydipsia [pah-lee-DIP-see-uh]; abreviated as PD) is a symptom of diabetes. Diabetic animals often drink incessantly because they are dehydrated from the cell-dehydrating effects of hyperglycemia, plus the effects of their bodies casting off the excess glucose through urination, taking hydration with it. The process also removes electrolytes the body needs to function properly such as potassium,[4] sodium and chloride[5] also. Chronic mild dehydration (common in diabetic cats) can lead to bowel motility problems among other things. One thing to check in the case of constipation is hydration level. To check if your pet is dehydrated, look at their gums and their skin. Skin will not snap back quickly when pinched, gums will be tacky or dry; more signs can be found at the link below[6][7]. This condition can be deadly or lead to deadly complications, within a day, so it must be remedied immediately. In any case of dehydration, check frequently for ketones. Mild dehydration may be possible to remedy with lots of water; if this isn't working, the next step is subcutaneous fluid injections, usually performed by your vet. (Though some people see this problem enough to have the equipment and fluids at home.) Untreated dehydration can cause the blood to be more hypertonic, which in turn can suck water from the cells causing more dehydration[8]. It's a vicious circle. Continue reading >>

How Water Impacts Blood Sugars

How Water Impacts Blood Sugars

This article was originally from the weekly Diabetes Daily Newsletter. To receive your copy, create a free Diabetes Daily account. Picture a glass of water. Mix in a little sugar and stir until it dissolves. Now place it outside on a hot, sunny day. As the water evaporates, the remaining water gets sweeter and sweeter. If you have diabetes, this happens to your blood when you’re dehydrated. Because your blood is 83% water, when you lose water, the volume of blood decreases and the sugar remains the same. More concentrated blood sugar means higher blood sugars. The lesson: stay hydrated to avoid unnecessary high blood sugars. How Much Water Should I Drink? The average person loses about 10 cups of water per day through sweat and urination. At the same time, you gain fluid from drinking liquids and eating food. So how much you need to drink is a tricky question. You may have heard the “drink 8 glass of water a day” rule. Where did this rule come from? As Barbara Rolls, a nutrition research at Pennsylvania State University says: “I can’t even tell you that, and I’ve writen a book on water!” It turns out that there’s no basis for this in the medical literature. The easiest way to tell is looking at your urine. If it’s a little yellow, you’re probably hydrated. If it’s darker, then you need to drink more fluids. You can also go with your own intuition. Are you thirsty? Drink! If you’re busy or stuck at a desk for long periods, make sure you have a water bottle so you can easily answer when your body calls for water. Does Coffee or Tea Count? Yes! Although consuming caffeine can cause your body to shed some water, you still gain more water than you shed. And studies have shown that this effect is partically non-existent for people who drink caffeine re Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemic Emergencies

Hyperglycemic Emergencies

Lana Kravarusic Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate, University of Florida Introduction Diabetes mellitus, if uncontrolled, may lead to serious hyperglycemic emergencies. The two most serious hyperglycemic emergencies are diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state (HHS). (Hyperglycemic hyperosmolar state is synonymous with hyperosmolar syndrome and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic state which are both older names.) DKA most commonly occurs in patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus or pancreatic disease, while HHS occurs more frequently with Type 2 diabetes. The presentation of the two syndromes can be distinguished by several factors. Both DKA and HHS patients present with hyperglycemia, but DKA is characterized by ketonemia, ketonuria, and metabolic acidosis while HHS involves dehydration without significant ketoacidosis. It is also possible that a patient presents with a mixture of DKA and HHS.1 The incidence of DKA is estimated to be 4-8 per 1000 diabetic patients, but is likely an underestimation. Up to 25% of cases in the United States are discovered at diagnosis, especially in younger children. The current mortality rate is 2-5% with treatment, and is usually a result of the underlying associated illnesses rather than DKA itself.2 For example elderly patients (>65 years) may have a mortality rate as high as 20% due to comorbid conditions. In some rare cases, however, mortality is a result of a DKA complication such as cerebral edema which is estimated to occur in 0.7-1% of DKA cases in young adults and children. Therefore, children less than 5 years of age and elderly over the age of 65 are considered high-risk DKA patients.1 Currently, the incidence of HHS in the United States is thought to be less than 1 per 1000-person years, making HHS much Continue reading >>

Diabetes With Coma In Dogs

Diabetes With Coma In Dogs

Diabetes Mellitus with Hyperosmolar Coma in Dogs The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen, near the stomach. Under normal circumstances, the pancreas makes insulin, a polypeptide hormone that helps to control blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body. When a dog eats food, its blood sugar rises in accordance with the sugars in the food (whether they are natural sugars or not). The pancreas then makes insulin to lower the blood sugar levels to a healthy level. In this way, the other organs in the body are able to absorb and use this sugar for energy. In the case of diabetes mellitus, the pancreas is not capable of making enough insulin. When this happens, the blood sugar level remains too high, a condition defined as hyperglycemia. A dog's body responds to high blood sugar in several ways. First, extra urine is produced , causing the dog to urinate more frequently than usual. Because it is urinating a lot more, it will drink a lot more water, too. Eventually, your dog will be at risk for becoming dehydrated because of the excess urination. Because insulin helps the body to use sugar for energy, lack of insulin also means that the body’s organs will not receive enough energy. This will make your dog feel hungry all the time, and though it will be eating a lot more food, it will not gain weight. If the diabetic condition is not treated early, your dog's blood sugar level will go higher and higher. Because of the excessively elevated glucose level, even more urine will be made and the dog will become dehydrated due to the loss of fluid. This combination of very high blood sugar and dehydration will eventually affect the brain's ability to function normally, leading to depression, seizures and coma. It is rare, however, since symptoms will often warrant a visit to th Continue reading >>

Diabetic Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

Diabetic Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome

HHS is a condition of: Extremely high blood sugar (glucose) level Decreased alertness or consciousness (in many cases) Buildup of ketones in the body (ketoacidosis) may also occur. But it is unusual and is often mild compared with diabetic ketoacidosis. HHS is more often seen in people with type 2 diabetes who don't have their diabetes under control. It may also occur in those who have not been diagnosed with diabetes. The condition may be brought on by: Infection Other illness, such as heart attack or stroke Medicines that decrease the effect of insulin in the body Medicines or conditions that increase fluid loss Normally, the kidneys try to make up for a high glucose level in the blood by allowing the extra glucose to leave the body in the urine. But this also causes the body to lose water. If you do not drink enough water, or you drink fluids that contain sugar and keep eating foods with carbohydrates, the kidneys may become overwhelmed. When this occurs, they are no longer able to get rid of the extra glucose. As a result, the glucose level in your blood can become very high. The loss of water also makes the blood more concentrated than normal. This is called hyperosmolarity. It is a condition in which the blood has a high concentration of salt (sodium), glucose, and other substances. This draws the water out of the body's other organs, including the brain. Risk factors include: Impaired thirst Limited access to water (especially in people with dementia or who are bedbound) Older age Poor kidney function Poor management of diabetes, not following the treatment plan as directed Stopping insulin or other medicines that lower glucose level Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia In Diabetes

Hyperglycemia In Diabetes

Print Overview High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) affects people who have diabetes. Several factors can contribute to hyperglycemia in people with diabetes, including food and physical activity choices, illness, nondiabetes medications, or skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication. It's important to treat hyperglycemia, because if left untreated, hyperglycemia can become severe and lead to serious complications requiring emergency care, such as a diabetic coma. In the long term, persistent hyperglycemia, even if not severe, can lead to complications affecting your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart. Symptoms Hyperglycemia doesn't cause symptoms until glucose values are significantly elevated — above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 11 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Symptoms of hyperglycemia develop slowly over several days or weeks. The longer blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the symptoms become. However, some people who've had type 2 diabetes for a long time may not show any symptoms despite elevated blood sugars. Early signs and symptoms Recognizing early symptoms of hyperglycemia can help you treat the condition promptly. Watch for: Frequent urination Increased thirst Blurred vision Fatigue Headache Later signs and symptoms If hyperglycemia goes untreated, it can cause toxic acids (ketones) to build up in your blood and urine (ketoacidosis). Signs and symptoms include: Fruity-smelling breath Nausea and vomiting Shortness of breath Dry mouth Weakness Confusion Coma Abdominal pain When to see a doctor Call 911 or emergency medical assistance if: You're sick and can't keep any food or fluids down, and Your blood glucose levels are persistently above 240 mg/dL (13 mmol/L) and you have ketones in your urine Make an appointment with your Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia

Definition Hyperglycemia is a complex metabolic condition characterized by abnormally high levels of blood sugar (blood glucose) in circulating blood, usually as a result of diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2), although it can sometimes occur in cystic fibrosis and near-drowning (submersion injury). Description Hyperglycemia, also known as diabetic ketoacidosis, is a condition that develops over a period of a few days as the blood glucose levels of a type 1 or type 2 diabetic gradually rise. Ketoacidosis occurs when increasing glucose levels are met by a lack of sufficient or effective insulin production, starting a sequence of physiologic events as follows: The combination of excess glucose production and low glucose utilization in the body raises levels of blood glucose, which leads to increased urinary output (diuresis) followed quickly by a loss of fluid and essential mineral salts (electrolytes) and, ultimately, dehydration . The loss of fluid may finally result in dehydration. If the entire process is severe enough over several hours (serum glucose levels over 800mg/dL), swelling can occur in the brain (cerebral edema), and coma can eventually result. In a metabolic shift to a catabolic (breaking down) process, cells throughout the body empty their electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and phosphate) into the bloodstream. Electrolytes control the fluid balance of the body and are important in muscle contraction, energy generation, and almost all major biochemical reactions in the body. As a result of electrolyte imbalance, many functions can become impaired. Free fatty acids from lipid stores are increased, encouraging the production of ketoacids in the liver, leading to an over-acidic condition (metabolic acidosis) that causes even more disruption in body processes. Wit Continue reading >>

Why Does Diabetes Cause Dry Skin?

Why Does Diabetes Cause Dry Skin?

It’s not so much that diabetes itself causes dry skin -- it’s the dehydration that results from poor blood sugar control. When your blood sugar level is high, that causes your body to lose fluid. In turn, that causes you to become dehydrated. The solution, of course, is to keep your blood sugar in check -- which you want to do for many other reasons besides dry skin. So, control your diabetes, and you can control your dry skin! [There are good tips here if you want to add more: Diabetes may dry your skin because having high sugar levels in your blood causes your body to lose fluid, including moisture from your skin. Also, nerve damage caused by diabetes may interfere with your ability to perspire normally, lessening the amount of moisture on your skin. Dry skin can crack and become more prone to infection. To help keep your skin moist, avoid very hot showers and baths, use mild cleansers and apply moisturizer to your skin while it is still damp. Examine your skin daily, and if you notice any signs of infection, such as red or sore spots, see your doctor. Dry skin is a complication of diabetes. It is caused by high blood glucose (high blood sugar) levels in the blood which zap moisture away from the tissues such as the skin. Another cause of dry skin for a diabetic is due to poor circulation. Poor circulation can cause the sweat glands to slow down or even shut down. Without sweat to cool the skin, the skin becomes dry. Continue reading >>

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