Occasional thirst is one thing, but if you find that you’re constantly parched, it could mean that underlying health conditions are at hand. Here’s a closer look at what might be causing your excessive thirst.
It’s estimated that about 7 million Americans have undiagnosed diabetes, usually because of unnoticed symptoms. One symptom is excessive thirst, brought about when your body has to work harder to filter and absorb extra sugar being produced. Part of this process involves frequent urination, which can dehydrate the body. As such, you’re likely to experience a great deal of thirst.
When you’re seriously depleted of water, dehydration often occurs. You may swallow often, have a dry throat, and have a strong desire for fluids. Additionally, you might feel more tired than usual, experience a waning memory, or become dizzy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the reasons for dehydration vary immensely. You may not be drinking enough water throughout the day, or you might not replenish your body sufficiently after sweating a lot. Bouts of diarrhea, fever, and living in a hot and humid environment may also lead to dehydration.
3. Dietary changes
If you’re adding more salt or spices to your meals, you may end up feeling thirstier than normal. When you eat saltier foods, your body works hard to make up for the new changes; extra salt in your body means more fluid is pulled from your cells, which makes the brain recognize thirst triggers. Know that taking in more salt goes beyond adding it to your meals; eating food that naturally contains sodium can become problematic if you exceed portion sizes or consume high-sodium foods routinely. Cured meats and highly processed foods can become an issue in this regard.
It’s no secret that both prescribed and common over-the-counter medications come with a rundown of side effects, with changes in thirst sometimes among them. Water pills, drugs with hormones in them, and pain relievers can all make you feel thirstier than usual. Certain herbal supplements may do the same. Do your best to stay in tune to side effects of any medications or supplements you’re taking. When in doubt, contact your doctor.
5. Mouth breathing
If you tend to go about your day breathing through your mouth, it’s not uncommon for thirst to kick in. Similarly, if you snore a lot, you may awaken to a parched throat. While snoring or occasionally opening your mouth while exercising is somewhat typical, doing so routinely could mean that you have an underlying health issue such as sleep apnea (in the case of excessive snoring).
As you age, you may notice that your thirst is harder to quench. This is because you’re starting to lose your sense of thirst somewhat, a common occurrence as one ages. Furthermore, a part of getting older may also mean that kidneys aren’t able to store water like they did when you were younger. These are all common changes due simply to age.
7. Sjögren’s syndrome
About four million Americans have Sjögren’s syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes a persons white blood cells to attack moisture-producing glands. Those with this syndrome experience a dry mouth is very common, dry eyes, joint paint and fatigue. A medical expert can better assess whether you may have this condition, although general and professional awareness about Sjögren’s is limited.
8. Psychogenic polydipsia
You may have read about people who consume extremely large quantities of water to the point of potentially harming their body. In fact, psychogenic polydipsia is a mental condition in which a person has uncontrollable urges to drink a lot of water, sometimes as much as or more than 2.5 gallons daily. This specific mental health problem is linked to such an urge, which tends to exist along with other conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder.
As you can see, reasons for excessive thirst vary. You may simply think you can get by only with a few cups of coffee, making the argument that it is liquid after all. Still, your body needs more than the liquids you obtain from the likes of tea or what occurs naturally in fruits. Be sure to note any dietary changes or habits, be sure to rehydrate after engaging in sweat-inducing activities, and ask a medical professional for advice if you think it could be diabetes or a mental health issue.
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