What causes excessive thirst? Is this a sign of a serious health disease? Should I start worrying? Find out the answers to all of these questions and more!
Thirst is a natural mechanism to compensate for the body’s water losses. Sometimes, if the process is altered by pathologies, we suffer the symptom in excess.
What causes excessive thirst?
Excessive thirst is an indicator that something is not working well in the body. Either due to a loss of fluid balance, or an underlying pathology, the fact that this mechanism becomes exaggerated may be a synonym for concern.
As a general rule, the human body is efficient in controlling the thirst mechanism to incite fluid intake. If they had not, multiple problems would ensue.
By balancing the water through the desire to drink it, it compensates for losses that occur through sweat or urine. However, sometimes this physiological mechanism fails or increases excessively. We explain, then, why excessive thirst can occur and what consequences it has.
Increased level of sugar
The level of sugar in the blood can influence the mechanism that regulates thirst directly. If the blood glucose rises above the normal values, due to a metabolic failure for example, it is probable that an excessive thirst will take place, leading the individual to ingest water without finding satiety.
Poorly controlled diabetes is, therefore, a pathology that triggers this process. In fact, among the three indicative symptoms to suspect chronic hyperglycemia we have polydipsia (excess thirst), polyuria (excess urine) and polyphagia (excess hunger).
Some studies published in the current scientific literature explain in detail the physiological processes by which this metabolic pathology is capable of generating polydipsia. In the case of frequently suffering this condition, consultation with the specialist to assess the vitality of growth and the existence of any disease related to the metabolism of nutrients is essential.
It is also possible that excessive thirst occurs from excess intake of some component of the diet. Specifically, it is common for this situation to occur when too salty foods are incorporated.
Sodium is one of the minerals that most decisively intervenes in the hydric and electrolytic balance. A variation in its levels, although minimal, can propitiate the mechanisms that cause thirst.
Furthermore, an excessive supply of sodium is capable of interfering with cardiovascular health, increasing the risk of hypertension. This association is clearly reflected in an investigation published in the journal Advances in experimental medicine and biology.
Excessive thirst as part of a psychiatric disorder
In addition to the causes and explanations, excessive thirst can be the result of a psychiatric disorder. When there is an alteration in the cerebral hippocampus, especially, one of the symptoms is polydipsia.
Schizophrenia or anxiety could be promoters of this condition, as stated in a recent review of scientific articles published in the Swiss Medical Weekly magazine. The intrinsic background relationship is not known with complete certainty, but it does suspect changes in neurotransmitters.
A poorly controlled schizophrenia situation can put the lives of those who suffer and those around them at risk. Thus, it is crucial to establish a pharmacological guideline to manage pathology safely.
The last of the reasons that we discussed, and that is related to the appearance of excessive thirst, is the practice of intense exercise in conditions of high temperature and humidity. Physical activity in this type of situation implies a greater loss of water through sweat and perspiration.
A water imbalance is generated that must be compensated to control the functioning of physiological reactions and the maintenance of body temperature. To do this, brain sensors warn the person to incorporate fluids.
One of the ways the human body has to signal the state of dehydration is through the thirst mechanism. Under these conditions, it can manifest excessively, since fluid losses can amount to more than 2% of total body volume.
Thus, frequent water intake during sports practice greatly reduces the risk of this sensation appearing, as well as developing acute complications that put performance at risk.
Polydipsia: a disorder due to various factors
There are several causes that can generate a feeling of excessive thirst. Some of them have some severity, but you can solve others by ingesting plenty of fluids, or taking into account certain precautions beforehand.
In the event that this disorder appears in your life frequently and without a logical explanation, do not hesitate to visit a doctor. He will be able to establish an accurate diagnosis and to prescribe the pertinent medication in case it is necessary.
In addition, if you do sports in hot environments, plan correct hydration guidelines to prevent the onset of excessive thirst. Not only does your performance depend on it, but the complete electrolytic metabolism of the blood.
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