Drinking enough water and other liquids is very healthy and convenient for the body and all its systems to function properly. But when thirst is continuous and does not calm down even if you drink, then it may be due to a condition that may be affecting your health without you noticing the danger. Pay attention to some of the potential causes.
Thirst is the signal that the body sends when it needs to replenish the fluid it has lost due to heat, sweat, exercise or after consuming very salty foods. Normally, just drink water or some other liquid to quench that thirst. On some occasions, thirst continues even if you drink fluids and then it can be a symptom of some physical or emotional conditions. The medical term for that insatiable thirst is polydipsia.
Medical causes of thirst
Here are some of the possible reasons why you might be thirsty:
- Diabetes mellitus : (or high levels of glucose or blood sugar). Excessive thirst and urination are often symptoms typical of diabetes , both of type 1 diabetes and the type 2 diabetes. When the person has diabetes, the excess glucose (sugar) accumulates in the blood and then the kidneys must work intensely to filter and absorb the excess glucose. If the kidneys are not supplied, the excess sugar passes into the urine along with the fluid extracted from the tissues, causing the person to become dehydrated. And as he will drink more liquid to quench thirst, he will produce more urine. The vicious circle continues until blood sugar levels are controlled. In addition to excessive thirst, other symptoms of diabetes include being more hungry than usual, frequent urination and weight loss. If you have these symptoms it is important that you visit your doctor . You may have diabetes, especially if there is a history of diabetes in your family.
- Diabetes insipidus (diabetes insipidus) . Despite its name, it has nothing to do with diabetes mellitus (or with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), but is related to disorders of the antidiuretic hormone, vasopressin, or its receptor, which causes frequent urination By eliminating fluid from the body, the desire to drink increases. If left untreated, it can cause kidney (kidney) problems. It is not a very common condition.
- Dehydration : This may be due to excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhea. As a result you may have: very thirsty, dry lips and mouth, lack of energy and cramps. Together, those are the symptoms of moderate dehydration. When dehydration is severe, the person hardly urinates, breathes quickly, the skin loses elasticity, low blood pressure, the heart beats rapidly and may even lose consciousness. In this case, you should seek medical help immediately.
- Heat stroke: It can occur when you spend a lot of time in the sun or have been exposed to intense heat, at temperatures that exceed 103º F (39.4º C) or more. Despite the heat, the person does not sweat and the skin feels dry. There may be confusion and irritability, dizziness, cramps, convulsions and even loss of consciousness. It is also important to seek emergency medical assistance.
There are many other causes for which an excessive or uncontrolled thirst can be experienced. For example:
- With certain medications, such as diuretics or phenobarbital.
- Heart, liver (liver) or renal (kidney) failure.
- Severe infections or burns in the body.
- If you breathe through your mouth (when your nose is congested).
- Very low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia).
- Elevated calcium levels (hypercalcemia).
- Peritonitis, an inflammation of the peritoneum, a membrane that lines the inner wall of the abdominal cavity and most of the abdominal organs. Peritonitis is a medical emergency that includes excessive thirst among its symptoms.
- Hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which one or more of the parathyroid glands (which control the levels of calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus in the bones and blood), produce an excess of the parathyroid hormone.
- A mental disorder called psychogenic polydipsia (potomania) characterized by the desire to drink water, and that can have serious consequences if more than 7 liters (28 cups) are ingested daily.
If your thirst does not seem to calm down no matter how much you drink and / or begin to urinate excessively, visit your doctor to determine the cause quickly. As you can see, a seemingly harmless symptom could be the sign of several health conditions, some dangerous. Do not underestimate it and consult a health professional.