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Why Am I Always Thirsty? What Causes Excessive Thirst?

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Why Am I Always Thirsty? What Causes Excessive Thirst? March 5, 2019

Does your throat feel parched no matter how much water you drink? Do you feel unusually thirsty at night? Well, you are not alone. Excessive thirst is a fairly common symptom that could indicate an underlying health issue and may even warrant medical attention in some cases. If you want to know what causes such intense episodes of thirst and how you can manage it, keep reading!

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What Is Excessive Thirst?

An intense thirst that doesn’t ease even after drinking plenty of fluids is called excessive thirst. The medical term for this condition is polydipsia. Excessive thirst may also cause blurred vision and fatigue in some people. The symptoms associated with excessive thirst might be a result of a serious underlying medical condition.

The common factors that may trigger excessive thirst are discussed below.

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Causes And Risk Factors For Excessive Thirst

The causes of excessive thirst may include:

  • Consuming salty or spicy foods
  • An illness
  • Strenuous physical activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Suffering burns
  • Significant blood loss
  • Some prescription medications like lithium, diuretics, and certain antipsychotics.

Factors that can put you at higher risk of developing excessive thirst include:

  • Dehydration
  • A dry mouth
  • Smoking
  • Vitamin or nutrient deficiencies
  • Pregnancy
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Intake of too much caffeine
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetes insipidus – This type of diabetes occurs when your body is unable to regulate fluids properly. An imbalance of water in your body can cause excessive thirst and urination.
  • Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus – This is caused due to a defect in the thirst mechanism that results in increased thirst and fluid intake.
  • Kidney, liver, or heart failure
  • Sepsis – A dangerous inflammatory reaction from an infection due to bacteria or other germs.

Treatment of excessive thirst is usually dependent on the underlying cause of your symptoms.

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How To Treat Excessive Thirst

If your excessive thirst is simply a natural need and not because of a serious underlying condition, you can treat it easily by drinking fluids throughout the day.

A good way to know if your body is getting enough fluids is to check the color of your urine. If it is light, more in volume, and does not have a strong smell, it is an indication that your body is getting enough water.

However, if your urine is dark, less in volume, and leaves a strong smell behind, you need to get more water into your system.

You should drink more water especially when you:

  • Are outdoors, and the weather is hot
  • Engage in strenuous physical activity
  • Are suffering from diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Have fever

If you fail to replenish your body with water in the above instances, it can lead to dehydration.

You can also combat excessive thirst by consuming foods that have high water content.

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Foods With High Water Content

You can consume the following water-rich foods:

  • Celery
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupe
  • Raspberries
  • Cucumber
  • Green pepper
  • Spinach
  • Melons

About 85-95% of all the above foods is just water (1). Now you know why your body craves for melons when it is very hot outside!

Most cases of excessive thirst can be tackled by rehydrating yourself. You can also try altering your diet and consume foods that are not too salty or spicy. However, if excessive thirst continues to bother you, it is time you see a doctor for your condition. Once the underlying cause of your symptoms is determined, you can proceed with the treatment to overcome the constant feeling of thirst.

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Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments section below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

When to seek medical attention for excessive thirst?

You should consult your doctor if:

• Your thirst is persistent despite drinking a lot of water.

• You have blurry vision, increased hunger pangs, and cuts/sores that don’t heal.

• You are fatigued or weak.

• You have been peeing more than 5 quarts a day.

How much fluid do I normally need?

The recommended daily water intake is 3000 mL for men and 2000 mL for women (2). You may need more than this when you engage in strenuous activities or are dehydrated.

What is the best drink to quench thirst?

One of the best drinks to quench thirst is water. It is better to go easy on sugary drinks, beverages, and juices when you are extremely thirsty.

Why do I get so dehydrated at night?

You keep your body well-hydrated in the mornings when you are awake by drinking enough water. However, when you are sleeping, your body is without water for 7-8 hours, thus leading to dehydration.

Why am I thirsty all the time but not diabetic?

Excessive thirst may also result from causes other than diabetes. Vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, illnesses, and even consumption of salty or spicy foods can contribute to increased thirst.

References

  1. Water, Hydration and Health” Nutrition Reviews, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. [How much water do we really need to drink?].” Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, US National Library of Medicine.

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