Diabetes and Polydipsia (Excessive Thirst)

Polydipsia, the persistent feeling of maximum thirst, is usually related to diabetes. 

Whereas excessive thirst is a widely known symptom of undiagnosed diabetes, polydipsia can happen in individuals with present diabetes for a lot of causes. 

This text will examine the connection between diabetes and polydipsia and what you are able to do about it in case you wrestle with this situation. 

Diabetes and Polydipsia (Excessive Thirst)

What’s polydipsia?

Polydipsia is a medical time period which means excessive or extreme thirst.  

Thirst is a traditional sensation that allows you to know that your fluid stability is off and that it’s best to drink one thing. However a persistent feeling of thirst, particularly in case you’re already ingesting lots of fluids, will not be regular and could also be an indication of a medical situation.

If polydipsia leads somebody to drink an extreme quantity of fluids to quench their thirst, it may possibly additionally lead to polyuria, the medical time period for when an individual is producing extreme urine. 

However how a lot fluid consumption is taken into account polydipsia? Usually ingesting 5 or 6 liters of liquid per day and persevering with to really feel thirsty could be thought-about polydipsia. 

What may cause polydipsia and excessive thirst?

Polydipsia is a symptom of a number of circumstances, together with:

  • Undiagnosed diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, kind 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and prediabetes all can set off polydipsia
  • Excessive blood sugar in somebody who has already been identified with diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetes insipidus, a uncommon situation that’s unrelated to diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus doesn’t affect blood sugar ranges, however as an alternative causes polydipsia and polyuria as a result of the kidneys don’t focus urine accurately
  • Acute dehydration
  • Some behavioral well being circumstances, together with sure anxiousness problems
  • Sure severe kidney accidents or ailments, together with renal cystic illness, liver ailments, in addition to coronary heart failure
  • Critical infections, together with sepsis
  • Electrolyte imbalances, significantly hypokalemia (low concentrations of potassium within the blood)

Along with diagnosable medical circumstances, short-term excessive thirst can be brought on by lack of fluids from diarrhea or vomiting, or from sweating, significantly if the temperature is excessive.

Many individuals may also expertise it from dietary components, like consuming extreme alcohol or caffeine, or from consuming very salty meals.

Being pregnant and a few pharmaceuticals may set off excessive thirst.

Some individuals will expertise polydipsia in the course of the evening if the temperature of their bed room is just too excessive, or due to nasal congestion or a situation that causes them to breathe via their mouths when sleeping as an alternative of via their noses.

Many components and circumstances can result in extreme thirst, but when that thirst persists for a number of days and isn’t helped by ingesting sufficient liquid, it’s a good suggestion to speak to a health care provider or medical supplier.

Diabetes and polydipsia

Extreme thirst is among the main warning indicators of diabetes and it’s typically among the many first signs an individual will discover earlier than being identified. 

Because of this, you shouldn’t ignore unexplained polydipsia.

The explanation that diabetes and feeling thirsty are so related is that hyperglycemia (having excessive blood sugar ranges) typically causes a sense of thirst.

When somebody’s blood sugar is excessive, their kidneys should do additional work to soak up the surplus sugar circulating within the blood. A lot of this additional sugar can also be flushed from the physique within the urine. The physique has to tug fluid out of organs and tissues to perform this, however doing that throws off the physique’s regular fluid stability leaving an individual dehydrated. 

People, like most different dwelling organisms, should hold their fluid ranges inside a really slender vary in an effort to keep wholesome. When somebody turns into dehydrated as a result of their tissues are giving up extreme liquid to assist flush out extra sugar, the mind detects the imbalance and triggers the feeling of thirst.

If somebody’s blood sugar ranges stay excessive, their kidneys will proceed attempting to flush out the extreme sugar, which means that dehydration will proceed, fluid ranges is not going to return to regular, they usually’ll doubtless proceed to expertise excessive thirst.

Nonetheless, with the assistance of a medical skilled, blood sugar ranges will be introduced beneath management, which can normally resolve extreme thirst fairly shortly.

Relying on the kind of diabetes somebody has, medical doctors and different medical suppliers will prescribe some mixture of medicines (like injectable insulin or oral metformin), in addition to urged dietary, train, and habits tips to comply with. 

Handbook “fingerstick” blood sugar testing or a steady glucose monitor are additionally more likely to be prescribed to assist observe blood sugars over time and assist somebody with diabetes regulate their medicine or weight-reduction plan to keep away from excessive or low blood sugar.

A hemoglobin A1C blood take a look at can also be more likely to be ordered to trace common blood sugars over a three-month interval.

All these instruments collectively may also help individuals with diabetes keep away from excessive blood sugar ranges and the signs like polydipsia that usually consequence.  

After getting blood sugar ranges again to a traditional vary, most individuals with diabetes will discover that their extreme thirst goes away shortly. 

Is polydipsia a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis?

Having larger than regular blood sugar ranges (hyperglycemia) may cause polydipsia. And extended, or very excessive, excessive blood sugar ranges can result in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Extreme thirst and extreme urination are frequent early signs of diabetic ketoacidosis. 

If you happen to’ve been identified with diabetes, it’s vital to keep watch over your blood sugar ranges, and to be careful for the signs of DKA, together with unquenchable or extreme thirst and needing to urinate extra typically than regular. 

If you happen to imagine you’re in DKA, it’s vital to hunt medical care instantly.

How are you going to handle extreme thirst you probably have diabetes?

For most individuals, the important thing to fixing polydipsia is to get blood sugar ranges into a traditional vary.

To cease feeling excessively thirsty you probably have diabetes, it’s vital to each drink ample liquids to rehydrate your self and to additionally deliver blood sugar ranges safely again to a traditional vary, which is round 80 to 130 mg/dL, except you’ve eaten very just lately.

When ingesting fluids to rehydrate your self, it’s greatest to keep away from drinks which are excessive in carbs or added sugar (except your blood sugar is low).

Stopping your blood sugar ranges from staying excessive for lengthy intervals of time, and bringing them safely again down into a traditional vary after they do go excessive, are the keys to preserving your self from feeling extreme thirst from diabetes.

If blood sugar ranges are in a traditional vary and extreme thirst persists even after ingesting loads of fluids, it’s a good suggestion to speak to a health care provider or medical supplier.


Polydipsia, or extreme thirst, is one thing that folks with diabetes typically expertise earlier than prognosis, however it may possibly additionally happen after prognosis if blood sugar ranges are excessive and if an individual is in diabetic ketoacidosis.

Dehydration, fluid imbalances, and electrolyte imbalances all can contribute to polydipsia, and all of those will be outcomes of blood sugar ranges being out of a traditional vary.

Rehydrating your self by ingesting loads of liquids and punctiliously managing your blood sugar ranges to stop severe or extended excessive blood sugar are one of the best steps to take to resolve polydipsia.

Many circumstances and different components may cause somebody to be excessively thirsty, but when that feeling persists for a number of days and isn’t helped by ingesting liquids and preserving blood sugar in vary, it’s a good suggestion to speak to a health care provider or medical supplier instantly.

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