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From Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA:

If a diabetic person gets dehydrated, what can or will happen to them? What are the symptoms and how important is it for us to get enough water in our system? The reason I ask is because my employer is trying to deny me of having a water bottle with me at a cash register where I work, in retail. They claim that we are close enough to a water fountain where, even with a doctors note, they are still trying to say no. I have e-mailed and gotten in touch with the ADA for advice but, I forgot to ask about what could happen to me? My primary doctor doesn't seem to know but, before moving here, the doctor who diagnosed me, made a point to inform me to drink lots of water and to have it with me at all times. I have forgotten why, so I was wondering if you could refresh my memory now that I have a new doctor. All the information I find is about kids being dehydrated when being young with diabetes, but what about adults? I am fighting this situation at work and I need information to back me up. Can you help me please? The ADA only mentions about our testing and snacks and bathroom breaks. What about the water issue? Why is getting enough water so important to us?


If your blood sugars are not under good control, you will urinate more and concentrate your glucose in your blood. This will make the glucose levels higher. For those individuals who have poor control and are volume depleted, this may be a reason for persistently poor glucose control. For those with good control, the amount of water you drink is less critical. In patients with type 2 diabetes, drinking generous amounts of water helps to keep appetite down. It remains a difficult issue if your employer says that they can provide you access to water and you do not need a water bottle. In addition to having the fountain available, they will have to give you their version of how to use it. If you are so busy serving customers you can't use it, it doesn't make any difference whether a fountain is available or not.


Original posting 8 Jan 2005
Posted to Other


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