ASK Diabetes Health

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ASK Diabetes Health

I am 21 years old. I have been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 7 years ago. I have no other comorbidities. I struggle with maintaining my hydration level. Could you please explain what the recommended daily water intake is for a person with Type 1 Diabetes?

We know that 60 per cent of the human body is made of water. Water is vital for almost every process in our body. Type 1 Diabetes, being an insulin deficient state, if the insulin doses are not taken appropriately, there is an increased risk of high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar gets filtered by the kidney which in turn produces more amount of urine to throw out the excess sugar. This causes dehydration with fluid loss.

Drinking less water reduces the blood fluid volume, causing the sugar in the blood to become more concentrated leading to high sugar levels. This glucose concentration leads to kidney producing more urine causing further dehydration. Severe dehydration can impact blood sugar control. Even mild dehydration could easily increase blood sugar levels by 50-100 mg/dL or higher. Daily decreased water consumption may also lead to higher insulin requirement as compared to adequate water consumption. Hence it is important to drink enough water to prevent blood concentration and consequent dehydration.

There is no definitive rule for how much water should be consumed per day by people with Diabetes. On average, a person without Diabetes is recommended 8 glasses of water (2-2.5 litres) per day. This is the minimum requirement. Hence in Diabetes where there is more risk of dehydration, trying to drink water continuously throughout the day is important

It is important to take a few sips of water every hour to stay well hydrated. The thirst reflex in people with Diabetes may not be always perfect; hence it is better to proactively drink sufficient water than risk dehydration.

Also during exercise or in hot weather, due to sweating, there is an additional increased fluid loss from the body. Hence, additional consumption of water up to 2-3 cups per hour is recommended depending on the level of physical activity.

Dr Monie Simon

Consultant Physician

I am 38 years old. I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 3 years ago. I have no other comorbidities. I love eating mangoes but I have read somewhere that eating mangoes could spike blood sugar levels.Could you please advise me on the recommended daily intake of mangoes and how I can consume mangoes without raising my blood sugar levels.

Mango is the king of fruits and it's a seasonal fruit, available only in the summer season. Mango is loaded with a varieLYiii- macro and micronutrients. It contains complex carbohydrates with plenty of fibre, essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, C, E. It also contains minerals like copper, folate, potassium and small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, calcium and antioxidants.

The Glycaemic Index of mango is 51, i.e. low, which means it slowly releases the sugar. Considering the carbohydrate value of mango (25 g per 165 g), it is advisable to consume 100 g mango per day to keep blood sugar levels within range. One should not consume mango if the blood sugar levels are consistently high. If the blood sugar levels are under control then he or she can have a single portion per day. Like any other fruit, 1 serving = 100 g of mango (approximately 2 slices), which contains 15 g of carbohydrates.

Mango may contribute to blood sugar levels in people with Diabetes, as 90 per cent of calories come from the sugar in it. But it also contains fibre (1.5 g per 100 g) and antioxidants which helps in minimizing blood sugar levels.

Mindful eating and portion control is the key to enjoy the happiness of eating a mango. One can monitor his or her blood sugar levels after consuming 100 g of mango. Replace the carbohydrates of mango with other fruit or other carbohydrate exchange. Don't consume mango with other fruit or during meals such as breakfast, lunch and dinner or with any sweets. The best time to consume mango is during mid-morning break or evening snacks or before a workout.

If one plans to include mango in diet, one needs to follow few simple techniques like portion size, moderation and combining this fruit with other high fibre and high protein food. It is advised to consult your nutritionist and diabetologist before including mango in your diet.

Rutuja Mahajan

Consultant Nutritionist

Diabetes Health Magazine