Summer can be telling on the health of children and the elderly. There is another ‘group’ which is impacted by the summer heat — the diabetics.
Diabetics have increased amounts of blood sugar levels and the kidney promptly rises to action to flush the excessive glucose through the urine. For that to happen, the kidney needs more amounts of water to filter out the glucose.
But in the elderly diabetics, who are prone to dehydration, water is lost easily and the kidney is in search of fluid to do its job. The body’s metabolism provides it by drawing it out from various tissues. This only worsens the dehydration. As the age advances, the thirst signals also come down and diabetics do not feel the urge to drink water much.
Diabetics need to be prudent in summer and watch out for signals of dehydration. Headache is probably one of the first symptoms, besides dryness of the mouth and eyes, and the burning sensation in the eyes which makes them look for some cold applications. There is weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Since there is not enough water for the kidneys to do its job, the urine could turn dark. If dehydration is not arrested at this point of time, it could get worse with low blood pressure, weak pulse and changes in mood with confusion and hallucinations setting in.
Much is always said about what diabetics should avoid but they would be more keen to know what to eat or drink to keep away the sunstroke. It is imperative that diabetics drink more water and if one is waiting for the thirst signal, well, they are waiting too long. Don’t forget water is wise man’s drink! The other way of replenishment is green tea and black tea without sugar as this keeps the spirits up, fluids in and calories out.
Milk and buttermilk are other ways to get the fluids into the system while a smoothie with almonds replenishes further. They could be fortified with a little salt that helps the electrolytes balanced. Half a cup of water melon, half an apple or peach a day and some amount of blackberries, which are summer fruits, would not hurt but one needs a maintain a gap between main meal and consumption of these fruits.
Cucumber and tomatoes, which will please any palate, are good for diabetics. Green leafy vegetables need more water to get broken down, so should not be forgotten. Brinjals are another safe option. Non-vegetarians would do well to go with red meat in moderation and the omega 3-fatty acid rich fish would be a better option. Peppers of different colours and beans are wholesome. Coconut water provides the best possible electrolytes in a potion, and though it contains a generous amount of sugar it can be ignored.
A diabetic is more prone to dehydration and homeopathic medicines like Kali mur, Natrum mur, balance the absorption of electrolytes while Belladonna, Glonine, Aconite help the body to rally around easily from the effects of dehydration while help the kidney is supplanted to do its job with remedies like Apis mel and Natrum mur.
For diabetics, to cruise through summer, a little balance of diet and homeopathic remedies are the best bet.