Know Polydipsia Or Excessive Thirst, Its Types, Causes, Symptoms

Know Polydipsia Or Excessive Thirst, Its Types, Causes, Symptoms

You may have heard it is essential for humans to drink plenty of water to rake care of thirst. However, sometimes, situations occur when a person can not find the exact amount of water enough to take care of thirsty. Have you ever heard about Polydipsia? This situation may arise if one cannot find the amount of water, which is enough to take care of thirst. In this article, I will discuss Polydipsia, its causes, symptoms, and treatment in detail so that you can find out if you have any symptoms of it and how to treat it.

What Is Meant By Polydipsia?

It is also known as excessive-thirst, where one can not find the exact amount of water enough to take care of thirst. A person feels thirsty after drinking plenty of water. Therefore, in medical terms, Polydipsia means to feel extremely-thirsty even if you drink plenty of water.

Excessive thirst is also linked with urinary conditions. It forces a person to urinate a lot. Thus, a body needs to replace the fluids lost in urination continuously. Some physical processes can also cause you to lose too much liquid. It includes eating a high-salt diet, sweating during exercise, and taking drugs. It may cause you to pass too much fluid, like diuretics.

In-depth Understanding Of Excessive Thirst:

A person having Polydipsia spends too much time in the bathroom. Most adults pee 3 quarts a day, but a person with excessive thirst may pee much as 16 quarts. But, it depends on the causes of it and how much fluids does a person drinks. Medical professionals consider it as one of the earliest symptoms of diabetes. It is in diabetes mellitus. It has a few conditions making it hard to process and use glucose for your body.

Whenever the body can not digest the blood sugar, it becomes abnormally high. If your body has a higher blood sugar level, you feel extremely-thirsty.

What Are The Common Types Of Excessive Thirst?

There are several types of excessive thirst based on their causes. It depends on the physical cause, psychogenic causes, mental causes, and issues. Here I have explained.

  1. Primary/Psychogenic:- this excessive thirst is caused by boredom, stress, anxiety, mental health issues, and depression.
  2. Polydipsia Due To Drugs:- because of using certain drugs or vitamins like vitamin K, salt intake, and corticosteroid, you may have polyuria.
  3. Compensatory Excessive Thirst:- one may have compensatory Polydipsia if there are lower levels of antidiuretic hormones in the body. It causes excessive urination. 

What Are Common Causes Of Polydipsia?

In simple words, you may see this condition when a person does not drink enough water after losing fluid. Whenever one drinks some specific liquids, like coffee or green or black tea, or sweat, he/she feels extremely-thirsty. It happens because the body wants to replace the fluid that was lost.

  • The first common cause is dehydration if a person doesn’t drink enough water. One feels dehydrated if sweated or even if not sweating or urinating. 
  • Polyuria is a condition where one passes more urine. It also causes excessive thirst.
  • Similar to our discussion in the previous section, diabetes mellitus causes excessive thirst. It may happen if the fluid levels in the body are unbalanced. If it is the case, one has to drink more fluids. People may urinate a lot even if they do not drink much liquid.
  • Mental illness is also a cause of it. Many people can’t control their urges to drink water. They drink water even if they do not need it. Medical professionals call it psychogenic Polydipsia. Some of the mental illnesses causing it are Schizophrenia, personality disorders, mood disorders, depression, anorexia, and anxiety.
  • Brain damage or injuries can cause excessive thirst. It may be caused due to diseases like HIV or other illnesses.

Other Causes Of Excessive Thirst:

  • Certain medications, like corticosteroids, diuretics in pill form, and water pills, are causes of it. 
  • Consumption of a lot of vitamin D and salt in foods and drinks is the cause of it. 
  • Feeling bored and anxious makes you drink too much water because of nervousness. You can observe it in horses and dogs.

Symptoms Of Excessive Thirst Or Polydipsia:

The problem (feeling extremely-thirsty) is a symptom of it. You can say it is a symptom if you have drunk enough water, but you are extremely-thirsty. 

Common Symptoms:

  • If you pass an abnormally high amount of urine, it is a symptom (more than 5 liters/day).
  • If you feel dryness in your mouth persistently, it is a symptom.
  • If you feel extremely-thirsty because of diabetes, there are some symptoms you need to know.
  • The person feels abnormally hungry.
  • A person may have blurred vision, exhaustion, and abnormal weight loss.
  • One many have frequent sore or infections, the slow healing process of sores and infections.

If you drink too much water, it causes water intoxication (water poisoning). It dilutes some amount of sodium in the blood and lowers blood sodium dangerously. It is known as hyponatremia and can cause the following symptoms.

  • One may have muscle cramps, spasms, and headaches.
  • One may feel dizziness/disorientation.
  • Unexplainable seizures are also a symptom.

What Are Its Effects?

If you drink too much water, it can unbalance your body chemistry. In general, people get rid of extra water by peeing. But, if your body can not keep up, it dilutes your blood. It results in a little sodium in your blood with too much water around cells. It can damage organs and bones and cause headache, nausea, cramps, slow reflexes, slurred speech, low energy, confusion, and seizures.

  • If it gets worst, it may put a person in a coma or die.
  • If you are peeing a lot and feeling extremely-thirsty for many days, you have to treat this issue. Therefore, call your doctor and seek treatment.

How To Diagnose Polydipsia?

Visit your doctor when you feel extremely-thirsty and if the feelings last longer than a few days. Never change many things on your own, like activities, water intake, and food intake. To treat this issue, doctors will first trip to diagnose you based on;

  1. Blood tests 
  2. Urine samples
  3. Fluid Deprivation Test where doctors will also suggest drinking less amount of fluids for some time.

Treatment Of Polydipsia:

First of all, the treatment depends on the causes. If you have diabetes, you need to adjust your care routine to manage blood sugar. Doctors will prescribe medication or hormones for diabetes insipidus. Also, continue your insulin injections. Your doctor will recommend for nutritional diet plan to eat and drink to treat diabetes symptoms. Keep your body fit with exercise. For diabetes insipidus, doctors suggest drinking a certain amount of water to keep your body hydrated. 

Doctors will give medications to control symptoms. It includes desmopressin (pill or injection).

For psychogenic causes, doctors suggest consulting a counsellor/therapist to control your feelings to drink excessive water. Treatment for psychogenic varies from limited fluids you drink, medication, and counselling. 

For mental health issues, doctors suggest undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). By doing so, you become more aware of environmental and personal triggers that cause you to feel the need to drink more water.

Treatment For Mistakes:

Some people make temporary mistakes of extreme thirst. Therefore, before going to doctors, you must strictly monitor your feelings of extreme-thirst. To do that, you must know a few things like as under;

  • What is the frequency of your thirstiness?
  • You must know how long it has been since you are thirsty.
  • Do you have any other symptoms of extreme thirst?
  • Do you think you are extremely-thirsty if you do any activity?
  • Do you think you can not satisfy your thirst even after drinking more than 64 ounces of water a day?

Like this, you have to ask a few questions to yourself and keep watch on your body. It makes it easier to identify the problem.

How To Prevent Complications Excessive Thirst?

No matter what treatments are best, preventing complications is good. By understanding the causes and positive results from treatment, you can control it without affecting your life or daily activities.

Change your lifestyle with better nutrition, exercise, and positive thoughts can keep symptoms mild. It is for those with diabetes mellitus. They need a treatment plan to stay healthy by preventing the complications of diabetes

Control the amount of water you drink to prevent complications (like hyponatremia) of drinking too much water. Take the doctor’s advice as positive to treat your issue and prevent complications. In short, you have to stay dedicated to treating your problems.

Final Thoughts:

Did you find this article helpful to know everything about Polydipsia? I have covered almost everything that a person needs to understand about excessive thirst, like what it is, its types, causes, symptoms, effects, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of complications. If you have monitored your urine frequency and the amount of water you drink and found any symptoms, consult a medical professional, and treat your issue.

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