- Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 00:34
- Written by Judd Handler
- Hits: 1196
image courtesy of dreamstime.com
Water—the ultimate thirst quencher for most, but for some people, water, water everywhere and plenty a drop to drink fails to provide relief from a parched palette. Some people are just always thirsty, thirsty, thirsty.
If you’re one of those people, and wonder, “Why am I always thirsty—even though I drink plenty of fluids?” here then are a handful of likely chronic-thirst culprits:
· Symptoms of diabetes
· Water intoxication (hyponatremia)
· Sinus infections
· Prescription drug side effects
· Excessive caffeine intake
· Electrolyte imbalance
Drinking the right fluids
It’s most likely extremely rare for someone who it fit, eats a diet rich in all-natural foods and drinks plenty of water to experience chronic thirst. However, for those that form the bulk of the U.S. population— infrequent exercisers who consume much processed food—sugar is often a major ingredient in beverages. Satisfying thirst with sugar-soaked drinks instead of healthy beverages spikes blood sugar levels (especially if they are not consumed at the same time as protein and natural fat), potentially leading to diabetes (more on that shortly).
If you’re always thirsty (Read: Why am I always tired), avoid drinking seemingly healthy beverages like 100 percent fruit juices or smoothies, as these drinks may contain 30 grams or higher of sugar per serving. Also avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine intake (up to three cups of coffee a day will not severely dehydrate), as both can dehydrate.
Reasons for diabetics to dump sugar
Diabetes, especially the more-common Type 2 variety is a major contributor to chronic thirst. Think of sugar as an illegal drug: you need more and more of it to elicit a desired feeling. The hormone, insulin, is released by the pancreas and controls blood sugar, carrying it to your trillions of cells.
Like an illicit drug, it becomes less potent and effective over time as someone constantly chases a sugar fix. The cells are already saturated with glycogen (blood sugar); they can’t handle any more insulin knocking at the door. Like an unwanted drug pusher at a party, the cells refuse entry to the extra sugar-carrying insulin cells.
The extra sugar has to go somewhere. So in an effort to carry the excess sugar out through the urinary tract, the cells signal thirst to the brain so more fluids are consumed in an attempt to rid the body of the excess sugars. (But some diabetics can’t help it: in the case of ‘diabetes inipidus,’ the kidneys struggle to conserve water, leading to insatiable thirst.)
Water can be intoxicating
With triple-digit temperatures fast-approaching this summer, some people, especially endurance athletes and children, will guzzle water, perhaps gallons of it, in an attempt to stymie the brutal heat.
Excessive sweating causes blood sodium levels to precipitously plummet, potentially leading to nerve synapses misfiring and muscle weakness. Drinking too much water and not replacing electrolytes like sodium may cause ‘hyponatremia’ aka water intoxication.
Hyponatremia is a serious, potentially-deadly electrolyte imbalance. It’s theorized that in some people with hypnoatremia, when low sodium levels occur, it signals thirst by the brain in an effort to alleviate chronic dry mouth.
You lose sodium when you sweat. Drinking water—even copious amounts—will not rehydrate the body with necessary trace minerals like sodium; try sprinkling a few tablespoons of unprocessed sea salt (grey or pink in color) per four cups of water to ensure you resupply the body with enough electrolytes and trace minerals.
Other reasons for being always thirsty
Medications such as phenothiazine can sometimes produce a side effect of dry-mouth and lead to an insatiable thirst. Sinus infections and congested noses force you to breathe out of your mouth, another reason for being constantly thirsty.
Copyright 2013, Judd Handler.