Reasons you are always thirsty

Thursday, November 7th, 2019 07:00 |

When thirst strikes, the first thing you grab is a glass of water. But if you are constantly dehydrated, you may need to check with your doctor, as this may be a hint that you have an underlying health problem

1. Diabetes

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can increase your risk of dehydration. When blood sugar levels are too high, your body pressures your kidneys into producing more urine to get rid of the excess glucose. Frequent urination, another common symptom, makes one thirsty. This leads to drinking more fluids, which compounds the problem. If you experience excessive thirst and urination, as well as other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or irritability, you should have a blood glucose test to find out if you have diabetes.

2. Dry mouth (xerostomia)

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is often mistaken for excessive thirst. It’s an abnormal dryness of the mucous membranes in the mouth, due to a reduction of the flow or change in the composition of saliva. If your glands do not make enough saliva, it can lead to other pesky symptoms such as bad breath, trouble chewing, and thick, stringy saliva. Common causes of dry mouth include smoking tobacco or bhang, stress, anxiety, or simply aging.However, dry mouth can be a side effect of several prescription drugs (including antidepressants and blood pressure medications), allergy medicines (such as Benadryl or Claritin), and dizziness or motion sickness medications (like Antivert or Dramamine).

3. Periods

If you feel the urge to glug down water during your period, it’s totally normal. Oestrogen and progesterone levels can both affect fluid volume. Add to that blood loss from the cycle itself, especially if your periods are on the heavy side and the result is a compensatory increase in thirst. 

4. Thyroid problems

Your thyroid—the butterfly-shaped gland located at the bottom of your neck—is responsible for pumping out thyroid hormone, which helps regulate your appetite, energy, internal temperature, and other vital body functions. However, thyroid problems are common among women. When the gland produces too much or too little hormone, it can spur a variety of nonspecific symptoms, including abnormally heavy periods, anxiety, feeling hot, and dry mouth—all of which can lead to increased thirst. People suffering from hypothyroidism specifically are more likely to suffer from other thirst-inducing health conditions, such as type 1 diabetes and anaemia due to B12 deficiency. 

5. Chronic stress

Chronic stress causes adrenal glands to under-perform, which may result in low blood pressure when the stress is severe. This can cause dizziness, depression, anxiety, and also extreme thirst. Thirst is your body’s way of adding more water to your blood in an attempt to raise your blood pressure. The only long-term solution for this is to decrease and better manage your stress levels.

6. Diuretic foods

Foods that have a diuretic effect can make you thirsty because they cause you to urinate more. This includes foods such as celery, asparagus, beets, lemons, melons, ginger and parsley. Although these foods have a lot of health benefits, consider this effect yet another reason to incorporate a wide variety of fruits and veggies into your diet. This way, you will cover your nutritional bases and keep your thirst in check. You can also balance the scales by eating more fluid-rich foods such as oatmeal and brown rice, which soak up water during the cooking process.

7. Low-carb diets

Feeling thirsty is a common side effect of the keto diet, since the eating plan requires you to significantly slash your carbohydrate intake. Carbs absorb and hold onto more water than protein and fat. As a result, you will have to pee more often, causing your thirst levels to spike.

8. Pregnancy

There are several signs of pregnancy to watch for, including excessive thirst. Your blood volume increases during your first trimester, which forces your kidneys to create excess fluid that winds up in your bladder, meaning your trips to the bathroom may become more frequent. What’s more, the nausea and morning sickness that accompanies pregnancy can lead to a dip in hydration.

9. Excessive bleeding

Ongoing or sudden blood loss—thanks to issues such as heavy periods and bleeding ulcers—can spike your thirst levels as your body aims to make up for the fluid loss. Excessive bleeding is also a common cause of anaemia, a condition in which your body loses red blood cells faster than they can be replaced. 

10. Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder that affects water absorption. Because you end up losing vast amounts of water through your urine, thirst strikes as your body tries to compensate for the fluid loss. 

Compiled by Sylvia Wakhisi

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