Feeling thirsty from time to time is quite normal and shouldn’t be regarded as an alarming situation. Instead, it is a sign from your body that indicates that you require water. Drinking a certain amount of water throughout the day is essential, as it is needed to carry out body functions such as removing waste.
One can feel extremely thirsty during summertime after having spicy meals doing hardcore exercises, and those too aren’t things that raise concerns. However, if you constantly find yourself chugging vast amounts of water, then you may have to slow down a little and observe yourself. If you happen to experience extreme thirst at night, have blurred vision, and are exhausted, it might be due to an underlying medical condition. All these factors point towards a problem known as excessive thirst. Therefore, this article will discuss what excessive thirst is, the common reasons, its risk factors, and how one can learn to manage it and know how to seek medical help.
The medical terminology for excessive thirst is known as Polydipsia. Two Greek words drive Polydipsia. “Polus” means “much”, and “Dipsa” means “thirst”. So even if you drink a lot of water yet feel thirsty and dehydrated, you might be suffering from Polydipsia.
It is vital to understand that there is a vast difference between feeling thirsty and Polydipsia. Excessive thirst is classified as an abnormal urge to chug water with an unquenchable thirst. A person affected with Polydipsia will drink more than 6 litres of water a day.
More factors include:
- Having a dry mouth most of the time.
- Passing at least 2.5 liters of urine during the whole day.
- Constantly feeling tired.
Polydipsia is a condition that can last days, weeks, or even months, as this solely depends on what factors are causing it. Remember that excessive thirst should not be confused with a dry mouth. A dry mouth is a condition where your salivary glands cannot make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet.
Some of its common signs are:
- Soreness in the mouth
- Changes in your taste
- Having difficulty speaking, swallowing or eating
Now that we know the difference between a dry mouth and excessive thirst, let’s discuss some of their leading causes.
Causes of Excessive Thirst
As we mentioned before, feeling thirsty is normal and shouldn’t be associated with problems, such as excessive thirst.
Here are some of the most common causes listed related to feeling thirsty:
- After having spicy or salty meals
- Performing any hardcore or strenuous exercise
- Experiencing diarrhea and vomiting
- Not drinking enough water
- You happen to be anemic and are experiencing heavy blood loss
- In-taking any sort of medicine that has excessive thirst as a symptom
- You have taken too much caffeine or alcohol
However, frequent spells of excessive thirst can indicate any serious medical problems. Thus, to help one differentiate whether it truly is a case of excessive thirst, we have listed some of the causes below.
Dehydration occurs when there isn’t a proper amount of fluid available in your body to perform vital functions such as getting rid of waste products and regulating blood in the entire body. Hence, severe dehydration is life-threatening and can cause many problems, especially in young infants and children. Dehydration is caused due to heavy sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Other signs also include:
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry skin
- Not feel the need to pee often
- Have a few teardrops when they cry
Usually, when you happen to be thirsty but can’t seem to quench it, doctors regard it as Polydipsia. It is one of the symptoms of diabetes. When people are affected by diabetes, their bodies cannot produce the hormone known as insulin or use it properly. This, in turn, causes too much sugar (glucose) to build up in the body.
Glucose (sugar) in your urine brings in more water; hence you feel the need to pee more often. After the frequent process of urination, you feel the urge to chug huge amounts of water and replace the fluid you’re losing. Along with excessive thirst and constant visits to the restroom, more symptoms of diabetes include:
- Constantly feeling hungry
- Having a blurred vision
- Feeling constantly tired
- Suffering cuts and bruises that seem slow to heal
Another type of diabetes is known as diabetes insipidus. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with diabetes. This condition occurs when your body doesn’t make enough of a hormone that helps the kidney control the water level in your body. Someone who has diabetes insipidus has the frequent urge to pee.
Other serious medical problems could be:
- Heart, liver, or kidney problems.
- Sepsis – a life-threatening disease caused by a severe inflammatory reaction due to other germs or bacteria.
- Psychogenic Polydipsia – a condition where a person forcibly drinks water due to an existing psychiatric issue.
Feeling a bit thirsty from time to time is normal and should go away once you drink a cup or two of water. Our body is made of 50-75% of water, and thus every human needs a specific amount characterized by their weight, health, and age factors. Therefore, drinking ample water throughout the day is vital to carry out the functions properly.
Not only is it essential for your everyday performance, but it is also needed for the good function of your skin, heart, lungs, and other vital organs. In addition, fluids in the body help keep other problems such as constipation, urinary tract infections, risk of heart diseases, and kidney stones at bay. Feeling thirsty and having the urge to pee is also one of the common signs of pregnancy and shouldn’t be a point of contention. If you have been sexually active with your partner, it would be best to take a pregnancy test. Having the urge to chug water is rated normal at most times. But if you constantly feel thirsty despite drinking water, have blurry vision, and have uncontrollable hunger levels, it could mean that you have a problem with excessive thirst. If this persists and doesn’t budge, you must immediately consult a healthcare professional or doctor.