Why Am I Always Thirsty?

Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that it’s running low on water, which it needs to work well. It’s normal to feel thirsty when it’s hot or after you’ve powered through an intense workout. But if you’re constantly refilling your cup without relief, it could signal another health condition.

Could It Be Dehydration?

Dehydration means your body doesn’t have enough water to carry out normal tasks, and thirst is the main symptom. It can happen for a lot of reasons, such as exercise, diarrhea, vomiting, and too much sweating.

Besides wanting water, other signs can include:

Kids who are dehydrated might also:

  • Have few or no tears when they cry
  • Have a dry, sticky mouth
  • Go to the bathroom less. Babies might have fewer wet diapers.
  • Be irritable or sluggish

Could It Be Diabetes?

Thirst you can’t seem to quench is one symptom of diabetes, a disease in which your body doesn’t make enough of the hormone insulin or doesn’t use it properly. It causes too much sugar (called glucose) to build up in your body. Too much of it in your urine draws in more water, so you pee more often. That leaves your body wanting to replace the fluid you’re losing.

Along with thirst and more visits to the restroom, other symptoms of diabetes include:

Could It Be Diabetes Insipidus?

Despite its name, this condition isn’t related to diabetes. It happens when your body doesn’t make enough of a hormone that helps your kidneys control the amount of water in your body. Excessive thirst is one of the major symptoms.

 

If you have diabetes insipidus, you may also have:

  • Dehydration
  • The urge to pee often

Continued

Could It Be Dry Mouth?

When your mouth feels very dry, it can make you thirsty. Usually, it happens because the glands in your mouth make less saliva. You may get it because of medications you take, treatments for other conditions like cancer, diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome, nerve damage in the head and neck, or tobacco use.

If your glands don't make enough saliva, you may have other symptoms, such as:

  • Bad breath
  • Change in taste
  • Gum irritation
  • Lipstick sticking to your teeth
  • Thick, stringy saliva
  • Trouble chewing

 

Could It Be Anemia?

Anemia means your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Some people are born with it, while others get it later in life. There are a lot of things that can cause it, including diseases, a poor diet, or heavy bleeding.

Mild anemia probably won’t make you thirsty, but you might find yourself craving more water if the condition gets severe.

Other symptoms include:

How can you quench your thirst?

The answer depends on what is making you so thirsty. Drinking more water is a good place to start. But if you can’t satisfy your craving for it, talk with your doctor.

Whatever the cause, don’t just live with it. Most of the conditions that cause thirst are treatable.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein, MD on June 18, 2015

Sources

SOURCES:

Popkin, B. Nutrition Reviews, August 2010. 

CDC: “Water: Meeting your Daily Fluid Needs,” “Water & Nutrition.”

Teens Health: “Dehydration.”

American Dental Association: “Dry Mouth.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Avoiding Dehydration, Proper Hydration.”

American Diabetes Association: “Diabetes Symptoms.”

UCSF Medical Center: “Diabetes Insipidus.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Dehydration and Heat Stroke,” “Diabetes Insipidus.”

National Institutes of Health: “Your Guide to Anemia.”

Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation: “Dry mouth: A Hallmark Symptom of Sjogren’s Syndrome.”

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