Thirst: causes of development, diagnosis and treatment of comorbidities

From a physiological perspective, excessive thirst or polydipsia is a response of the organism to the violation ratio of water and various salts in its tissues. A large concentration of salts in the blood plasma and tissue fluids affects the osmotic pressure, providing the shape of cells and their normal functioning.

The result is lost elasticity of the skin, the facial features become more acute, the person might be bothered by headaches and dizziness. Therefore, the lack of fluid in the cells causes a very strong desire of the body to restore the proper balance.

Feeling unquenchable thirst or polydipsia is reduced or disappears when the consumption of water in large volumes – more than two liters per day (for an adult).

The causes of the emergence of a strong thirst

Polydipsia occurs due to the intense activation of the drinking center in the brain. This usually can be caused by physiological or pathological reasons.

For physiological reasons, causing intense thirst, include:

  1. Enhanced loss of water from sweat during strenuous exercise or heat.
  2. Dehydration in cases of poisoning with diarrhea.
  3. Intoxication of an organism products of disintegration of alcohol, to the natural conclusion (via the kidneys) which required the flow of water in large quantity.
  4. Too dry indoor air, which the body has to lose moisture. This situation usually occurs in the heating season and when air conditioning. To solve the problem with the regulation of humidity is possible with the help of a humidifier or indoor plants that increase moisture level in the room.
  5. Eating spicy, salty or smoked foods, as well as the abuse of coffee and sweet sodas.
  6. Water consumption with insufficient content of mineral salts, so-called soft water. Thanks to mineral salts of the body better absorbs and holds water. Therefore, it is advisable to choose to drink mineral water chloride-sodium group with a sufficient salt content.
  7. Consumption of water with excessive salt content also affects the water balance of the body, as salt in excess prevent cells to absorb the water.
  8. Eating foods and drinks that have diuretic properties. These foods cause dehydration, and a strong desire to drink.

If physiological causes of polydipsia at least temporarily eliminated, but the sense of thirst does not stop, immediately call the therapist and pass all the necessary research, because the causes of this problem can wear pathological.

To pathological causes of polydipsia applies:

  1. The development of diabetes, which at first always accompanied by frequent and copious urination, which in turn dehydrates the body and causes thirst. The development of this disease can also specify the following accompanying symptoms: itching, dizziness, recurring headaches, sudden weight gain.
  2. Diabetes insipidus – a violation of the endocrine system, which is accompanied by intensive water excretion through the kidneys (several liters of urine a light color in the day). This issue should be addressed to the endocrinologist. The main reasons causing the development of diabetes insipidus are neurosurgical intervention or brain injury.
  3. Hyperparathyroidism – a malfunction of the parathyroid glands, in which the bone marrow leaches the calcium. And since calcium is osmotically active, it “takes” with a water. On the development of this endocrine disease may indicate other symptoms
    • urine white;
    • rapid weight loss;
    • muscle weakness;
    • fatigue;
    • painful sensations in the legs;
    • early loss of teeth.
  4. Kidney disease, which are usually accompanied by swelling, dry mouth, problem with urination. Diseased kidneys are not able to hold in the body necessary for its full life amounts of water. Most often the kidneys are suffering from such disorders as acute and chronic pyelonephritis, primary and secondary wrinkled kidneys, glomerulonephritis, hydronephrosis and chronic renal failure.
  5. Chronic stress and nervous overstrain, as well as more serious disorders psychological disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia). Mental health problems can provoke the disruption of the centre of regulation of thirst located in hypothalamus. According to statistics, this cause severe thirst often affect women. As a rule, the development of mental disorders can have both with an undying desire to drink and such symptoms as sleepiness, tearfulness and irritability.
  6. Brain tumor, stroke and other focal lesions and injuries of the brain, which can disrupt the hypothalamus, which is responsible for the Central regulation of thirst.
  7. Pathological problems with the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), accompanied by constant hidden bleeding, which is often the feeling of thirst. Most often polydipsia is called when intestinal tumors, hemorrhoids, etc. to diagnose the presence of hidden bleeding in the first place, you need to pass a stool.
  8. Generalized hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating of the pathological character. This disorder may indicate the development of diseases such as:

Increased non-physiological sweating is the reason of the visit to the endocrinologist.

The disease, which may indicate the presence of a strong thirst, combined with nausea

Most often, these symptoms are combined with:

In addition, the combination of polydipsia and nausea may indicate a disease in which there are other associated symptoms:

  1. The plaque in white on tongue, belching, heartburn, dryness and bitter taste in the mouth may indicate a malfunction of the gallbladder (cholecystitis, pancreatitis or gastritis). The same symptoms can occur during the use of certain antibiotics and antihistamine medications.
  2. Burning gums and tongue, metallic taste in the mouth in combination with thirst and nausea may disturb the gums.
  3. Heartburn, feeling of fullness and pain in the stomach may indicate the development of gastritis stomach.
  4. Violation of the water balance of the body and dry mouth, bitter, tongue coating white or yellow indicate malfunction of the thyroid gland.
  5. Nausea, polydipsia, in combination with other painful symptoms in the region of the gastrointestinal tract can talk about the development of Central nervous system disorders (psychosis, neurosis, amenorrhea, neurotic disorders).

It is important to understand that if thirst and nausea bother you for several days without medical care can not cope. Should consult a doctor who will professionally evaluate the existing accompanying symptoms; to pass all the necessary tests and undergo a series of diagnostic studies. All these activities will help to determine what kind of pathology you’re suffering.

Thirst and drugs

It should be noted that polydipsia may be caused by a medication that promotes the removal of moisture from the body. It can be:

  • antibiotics;
  • antihistamines;
  • diuretics and drugs for weight loss;
  • hypotensive;
  • expectorants.

In addition, some medications can cause increased sweating and thirst (e.g., acetylsalicylic acid), which is usually indicated in the list of their side effects.

Among popular drugs, acceptance of which creates a thirst in many patients, it can be noted Metformin – antidiabetic agent used in the treatment of:

  1. Diabetes mellitus 1 and 2 type.
  2. Violations of tolerance to glucose.
  3. Of gynecological diseases.
  4. Endocrinological disorders.

Also, this drug is used for the normalization of body weight, since its active ingredient reduces the production of insulin, significantly reducing the appetite. While using Metformin, you should adhere to a carbohydrate-free diet, otherwise the possible side effects gastrointestinal – nausea, retching, diarrhea, metallic taste in the mouth.

It is important to understand that the right approach to the use of Metformin in compliance with all the recommendations specified in the instructions to this drug, any side effects are possible, including dehydration and thirst.

Polydipsia during pregnancy

As you know, the human body on 80% consists of water, a sufficient presence in each of its cells, ensures the normal functioning of the body. During pregnancy, every woman exposed to high loads and testing. Very often the body of the expectant mother suffers from thirst and water balance disorders that can cause the slowing of metabolic processes and lead to pathological changes in the mother’s body and fetal development.

The main causes of severe thirst in pregnant women:

  1. The formation of amniotic fluid. Each week of fetal development increases the volume of amniotic fluid, and therefore increases the amount of required water, and therefore increases polydipsia.
  2. During the first trimester of pregnancy, women need more fluids to remove toxins and slags, as undeveloped organs of the fetus are not yet able to neutralize them.
  3. Changes in the structure of the circulatory systemthat occur up to 20 weeks gestation. Because the pregnant woman’s body has to work harder, there is an increased requirement for fluids, the lack of which leads to the fact that the blood thickens. When thick blood increases the risk of blood clots, ischemia and other pathologies of the cardiovascular system.
  4. Changing food tastes. Because during pregnancy a woman usually abusing sweet, salty, spicy or fatty foods, it is a growing need for additional fluid that helps to digest and excrete excess salt.
  5. Bacterial and viral infections, disorders of the intestine and respiratory tract can also cause of polydipsia.
  6. Gestational diabetes, the development of which is accompanied by thirst and a dry mouth. Identify the disease with the help of urine and feces.

It is worth noting that there are situations when, according to the urine and the accompanying symptoms, a pregnant woman should reduce the amount of fluid intake. Otherwise, you may develop preeclampsia and increased risk of premature birth.

Diagnosis of polydipsia

Since polydipsia can be a symptom of quite serious diseases of some body systems, diagnosis of thirst is a very complex and lengthy process which involves:

  • a survey of the patient;
  • inspection;
  • the lab tests. Usually, the first is the analysis of blood and urine. If the cause of increased thirst is not installed, there shall be tests for hormones, liver and kidney samples;
  • hardware study of the individual organs of the patient (chest x-ray, ECG, ultrasound, etc.).

Please note! If the spirit is non-physiological in nature, the body, in most cases, first diagnosed for the presence of diabetes or diabetes insipidus, and disorders in the kidneys or cardiovascular system, since such problems often occur in patients.

Prevention and treatment of polydipsia

The main objective of the prevention and treatment of enhanced thirst is the restoration of water-salt balance, and identifying and addressing the factors that cause a malaise of the body.

If you experience heavy polydipsia recommended:

  1. To increase fluid intake to two liters a day. To enhanced thirst not made itself felt for a long time, it is advisable to drink half a Cup of purified water every hour.
  2. To normalize the humidity in the roomwhere you are, because in dry air increased thirst. To increase the humidity can make the plants or to purchase a humidifier.
  3. To abandon the consumption of fatty, spicy and salty food, different supplements and drugs that cause thirst, as well as from snacks, coffee, alcoholic beverages, sweet sodas.
  4. To get rid of bad habits (Smoking).
  5. Half an hour before training or other physical exertion to drink a glass of water.
  6. To monitor the quality of your urination. If the urine is too light or dark color, it is necessary to reconsider volumes of fluid consumption. When the normal water content in the body, the urine has a moderately yellow color without pungent smell.

If physiological factors causing thirst completely eliminated, but the dehydration does not stop, you should immediately go to a physician or endocrinologist on a residence, which will prescribe all the necessary tests, and will conduct a thorough examination of the body. If there is a head injury, after which it was observed enhanced thirst, you need to seek the advice of a trauma surgeon and a neurologist.

It is important to understand that an enhanced sense of thirst is not the cause but the symptom of a disease. And it is quite possible that we can talk about very serious diseases. Therefore, the appearance of polydipsia to ignore in any case impossible.

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