Always Thirsty? Know About The Condition In Detail

Water is an essential part of our lives, and none of us can imagine a life without water. It is not possible to live without water. Thirst is considered to be one of the most powerful of all behavioral drives, and when maximally stimulated, the craving for water can never be ignored. 

Almost all of us know that lack of water is harmful to the human body. In medical terms, a lack of sufficient water in the body is known as dehydration and there are many causes of it. 

Many times, people experience excessive thirst and most often, it is ignored. But, have you ever thought of the cause of it?? What could be the reason behind it?

Well, being thirsty is common. But, many times, excessive thirst is the warning sign of an underlying condition. Although not always, excessive thirst can be the symptom of some medical condition. In medical terms, excessive drinking and compulsive consumption of water is regarded as a severe disorder, known as polydipsia. Many health conditions have excessive thirst as their most common symptom. Some of the possible medical causes of excessive thirst are as follows:

1. Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder which is characterized by hyperglycemia or high glucose level in the blood. It occurs due to disturbances of carbohydrates, fats, and metabolism of proteins which results from insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. Normally, the organ pancreas makes the insulin which helps the glucose to spread in all the cells in the body. Diabetes mellitus develops when the body fails to make enough insulin or when the body fails to use produced insulin effectively. In such cases, there is a build-up of sugar in the blood.

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Diabetes mellitus is associated with a wide range of symptoms and increased thirst is one of the common symptoms. Other symptoms of diabetes mellitus may include increased urination, fatigue, blurred vision, very dry skin, more infections than usual, and slow wound healing. Diabetes mellitus is a serious disorder which is not a single disease, but it is a disease which is characterized by hyperglycemia and over time, it increases the risk of developing problems to eyes, kidney, nerves, and the heart. There are various factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes mellitus such as stress, obesity, and genetics. Genetics is one of the most common causative factors of diabetes mellitus.

2. Kidney Failure

Kidneys play a vital role in the human body and they are responsible for eliminating waste products from the body, through the urine and it also helps to maintain normal electrolyte and fluid balance within the body. Kidney failure is a condition which occurs when the kidneys fail to function normally. Normally, the waste products that are excreted from the body by the kidneys, but when kidneys fail to function, there is a buildup of waste in the bloodstream. This results in the occurrence of symptoms associated with kidney failure.

The symptoms of kidney failure vary from one person to another and it depends on the stage and severity of the disease. Most often, patients having renal failure and are in the early stages of chronic renal failure tend to first develop an increased thirst and increased urination. As the disease progresses, other symptoms may also develop such as loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, bad breath, and mouth ulcers, electrolyte abnormalities, high blood pressure, anemia, and poor body condition. As the kidneys can no longer excrete waste products out in the urine and these wastes build up in the blood and this condition is known as uremia.

3. Alcohol-related liver disease

Alcohol-related liver disease is another serious disease which has an increased thirst as its primary clinical sign. Alcohol-related liver disease is one of the leading cause of liver disease and is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. As the name suggests, alcohol-related liver disease is a disorder which is caused by alcohol abuse. Some other symptoms that are associated with alcohol-related liver disease include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dark bowel movements, confusion, abdominal discomfort, swelling in the legs, and bleeding gums.

There are three stages of alcohol-related liver disease. Alcoholic fatty liver disease is the first stage and it is a condition in which the fat begins to get accumulated in the liver. Acute alcoholic hepatitis is the second stage and it is the condition in which the inflammation occurs and the condition becomes quite serious. Alcoholic cirrhosis is the last and final stage which is life-threatening and results in liver failure. The histological abnormality that occurs with alcohol-related liver disease can range widely from steatosis to hepatocellular carcinoma. Patients having this alcohol-related liver disease are at high risk of developing hepatic steatosis, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

4. Dry mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia is a condition which occurs when there is an increase in the amount of saliva in the mouth and it results when there is an impairment in the working of salivary glands. Dry mouth is a medical condition and it can cause some serious problems or difficulties to the patient such as problems with eating, bad breath, excessive thirst, cavities, and an increased risk of infection. Some of the symptoms that are common in patients having dry mouth include a dry feeling in the mouth, cracked lips, problems in swallowing, mouth sores, burning sensation in the mouth, bad breath and infection in the mouth.

Dry mouth can be a symptom of some serious medical condition or it can occur due to some psychological condition like stress. Sometimes medication can also be the causative factor of dry mouth. Research has suggested that elderly are at high risk of developing a dry mouth and one of the reasons behind it is that old people often take multiple medications in order to control diseases they have developed throughout their lifetime.

Tags: Why am i so thirsty all of a sudden, Excessive thirst at night, Excessive thirst medical term

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Jim Carson

Jim Carson is the writer for the mental health section of He is certified in clinical mental health counselling and has conducted cognitive behaviour therapy for war veterans struggling with PTSD. Professionally and personally, Jim is an astute observer of human behaviour that reflects well in his work.