1. I like to drink fitness waters after working out but I noticed that they have sodium in them. If I drink them after exercising am I dehydrating myself more?
Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but there is a greater need to maintain proper hydration after work-out. Water is the most important nutrient for life and has many important functions including regulating temperature, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients and waste throughout the body. After workout, we need to replenish the water and electrolytes we lose. Some of the fitness waters that are available include: • Vitamin Waters: There are different types of waters that claim to be “vitamin waters.” These usually contain high amount of sugar, some having more than regular sodas, which is not desirable especially after a work-out session. Further, if one is already getting the required vitamins and minerals in your diet or through doctor-approved supplements, one doesn’t need more. Many vitamins and minerals can have toxic consequences if you get too much. • Smart Waters: Some waters claim to be “smart waters.” These mean that they are generally bottled after being boiled and recondensed and then have magnesium, potassium and calcium added to them. They promise faster hydration. However, there is no proof that these additives will decrease the time it takes to rehydrate.
2. I have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes, if I reduce my sugar intake will I reduce my chances of getting the disease?
Although the tendency to get type 2 diabetes is genetically inherited in most cases, eating too much of refined carbohydrates (sugar or foods with sugar, like sweets/chocolates etc.) coupled with sedentary lifestyle can cause weight gain, which can further increase the risk for developing the type 2 diabetes. This is especially so in people with family history of diabetes. i.e. diabetes in first degree relatives (mother , father, brother, sisters). Thus, it is always recommended to have a low fat, adequate carbohydrate and protein diet with moderate levels of physical activity.
3. How often should diabetics use a glucometer to monitor blood glucose levels?
Checking one’s blood glucose using a glucometer is known as SMBG (Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose). The frequency of the checks varies, depending on the type of diabetes and intensity of the condition.
Type 2 diabetes: It is recommended that a type 2 diabetic should measure his/her glucose levels once before a meal and once two hours after a meal, however, this should be done on different days at different times, also known as scattered checks. These checks help the diabetologist know how well the body is responding to a particular medication, and if any changes in the dosages are required. After starting any new treatment, or if patient is on multiple medications or insulin, more frequent blood sugar checks with glucometer are needed. Once blood sugar is under stable control, such checks should be done infrequently.
Type 1 diabetes: In the case of type 1 diabetes who are on multiple insulin injections, having a 7-point check, beforeand after meals, along with a 3 am reading is considered ideal, so that your physician can plot a graph of how well the person is doing on their current insulin replacement therapy. It is also a good way to know how well their body is tolerating the earlier dose of insulin and how much they need as their next dose. However, in many type 1 diabetics, most of whom are children, 7-point check may be too overwhelming and could be reduced to 2-4 times daily.
Gestational diabetes: In women suffering from gestational diabetes, SMBG must be done before meals and 1 hour after meals. Since a tight control of blood sugar is necessary in this condition, it is essential to have good blood glucose monitoring at this time. Unstable Diabetes: For those suffering from unstable diabetes along with T1D, should use the Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) of monitoring their blood glucose. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMSs) measure one’s glucose levels every few minutes and gives a graph of blood sugar during the day and night. One could then easily make out effect of meals, exercise, drugs and insulin on blood sugar levels throughout the day and night.
Dr Anoop Misra
Chairman, Fortis-C-DOC (Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology); Chairman, National Diabetes,Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC)