Excessive Thirst Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand excessive thirst symptoms, including 4 causes & common questions.

Excessive Thirst Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your excessive thirst

Contents

  1. 4 Possible Excessive Thirst Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

4 Possible Excessive Thirst Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced excessive thirst. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

New onset of type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes was formerly known as juvenile diabetes, and is the version of the disease found in children and young adults. Only about 5% of all diabetes cases are type 1.

With any type of diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to break down and digest sugar. Type 1 diabetes is thought to be an autoimmune condition that attacks the cells of the pancreas and may be genetic.

Most susceptible are children under age 14.

Symptoms include increased hunger and thirst; unintended weight loss; irritability; and fatigue.

If not treated, diabetes leads to severe and sometimes life-threatening health problems. It is very important to seek treatment if any type of diabetes is suspected.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and blood tests.

Diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed with insulin injections and careful attention to diet and exercise. Regular monitoring, both by a medical provider and by the patient, is an important part of controlling this condition.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath, vomiting, general abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss

Urgency: In-person visit

Dehydration

Dehydration means the body does not have enough water to carry out its normal processes.

Most susceptible to serious dehydration are young children with fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. In adults, some medications increase urination and can lead to dehydration. Anyone exercising vigorously, especially in hot weather, can quickly become dehydrated.

Symptoms include extreme thirst; dry mouth; infrequent, dark-colored urine; dizziness; and confusion. Young children may have sunken eyes, cheeks, and soft spot on top of the skull.

Severe dehydration is a serious medical emergency that can lead to heat stroke, kidney damage, seizures, coma, and death. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests and urine tests.

Mild dehydration can be treated simply by drinking extra water, or water with electrolytes such as sports drinks. More serious cases may be hospitalized for intravenous fluids.

It's important for anyone who is outside in hot weather, or who is ill, to drink extra fluids even before feeling thirsty as thirst is not always a reliable guide.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, racing heart beat, being severely ill

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Excessive Thirst Symptom Checker

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Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes, because it is the result of lifestyle and is not hereditary. Diabetes of any type is the condition where the body does not produce enough insulin to process the sugars in food.

Risk factors include obesity, overeating high-carbohydrate foods, lack of exercise, pregnancy, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS.)

Early symptoms include increased thirst; frequent urination; weight loss despite increased appetite; blurred vision; infections that are slow to heal; and blood sugar somewhat higher than normal.

It is important to get treatment at the first sign of these symptoms, because the high blood sugar levels can cause serious organ damage. Heart disease, neuropathy, kidney damage, and blindness can all result from untreated diabetes.

Diagnosis is made through a series of blood tests to measure blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes cannot be cured, but it can be managed through lifestyle changes. A diet which eliminates refined carbohydrates and controls calories; regular exercise; regular blood sugar monitoring; and sometimes insulin or other medications will all be recommended.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: fatigue, increased appetite compared to normal, vision changes, feeling itchy or tingling all over, excesive thirst

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is caused by a lack of, or decreased sensitivity to the hormone vasopressin. Vasopressin is needed for the kidneys to concentrate urine, making sure you do lose to much fluids. If this function is impaired, it will result in urinating frequently and large amounts, extreme thirst and dehydration.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: fatigue, irritability, constipation, excesive thirst, dry mouth

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Excessive Thirst

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Have you had any changes in your weight?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Have you experienced any nausea?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your excessive thirst. These questions are also covered.

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Excessive Thirst Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced excessive thirst have also experienced:

  • 8% Fatigue
  • 4% Headache
  • 4% Frequent Urination

People who have experienced excessive thirst were most often matched with:

  • 42% Dehydration
  • 35% New Onset Of Type 1 Diabetes
  • 21% Type 2 Diabetes

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

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