Being thirsty all the time is not normal: try hydrating instead
The human body is mainly made of water and it has thus developed thirst as an alert mechanism for this liquid’s deficit. The need for water varies from one person to another, and it’s difficult to determine how much water should the average person drink. Listening to one’s own body and using common sense in order to stay hydrated is advisable, but if thirst becomes too persistent, it’s necessary to look for the cause behind it. Being thirsty all the time is not normal and we explain why in the article below.
Although it’s different for everyone, the universal ratio of water in the human body is two thirds. In other words, if a person weighs around 150 pounds, at least 99 of them are water. This water is not kept within the body, but helps eliminating excessive residues that could be harmful for our organism.
Did you know urine is not the only way to eliminate toxins and water? Faeces, skin pores and lungs can also dispose of water. Pores evaporate it, while lungs eliminate water vapour that comes from the respiratory tracts’ mucosa.
This makes it necessary to hydrate in order to recover all the water that the body needs, and thirst is the symptom for this necessity. Basically, thirst is the need to ingest liquids, and is controlled by the hypothalamus, that sends an alert to drink for two causes: a water deficit or excessive salts. This is the reason why the body has two different detection systems, connected with the hypothalamus, and the reason why thirst is activated when eating some food and practicing activities that cause transpiration.
We need to get hydrated
It’s very common to hear it’s advisable to drink 8 glasses of water every day. This might be a good reference for the quantity of water a person needs, but there are many factors that can make an adult person need more or less water. Besides, it’s necessary to know that water is not the only thing that can provide hydration, as some food is highly hydrating.
Generally speaking, in order to be know if a person is conveniently hydrated, it’s important to take two things into account:
- You're almost never thirsty
- Your urine's colour is clear or pale yellow
On the contrary, if someone feels thirsty all the time, this isn’t normal and might be rooted in different causes, some of which could be related to diseases.
The causes of being thirsty all the time
The feeling of unquenchable thirst is normal when the organism is losing liquid. This can happen for the following factors:
- Feeding: a diet rich in sodium can be the cause for feeling thirsty all the time. The body detects a high concentration of sodium and orders kidneys to expel it. In order to do this, the body requires a higher quantity of water and thus activates thirst.
- Dehydration: it is caused by excessive sweat, vomiting or diarrhoea. The organism losses liquids and it’s necessary to regain them. Apart from being thirsty all the time, it’s possible to also experience lip and mouth dryness, cramps and a lack of energy.
- Anxiety: anxiety or stress can also cause excessive thirst.
If some feels thirsty all the time, it’s likely to be part of a health problem that hasn’t been treated. If someone experiments dryness in their mouth or the feeling of constant thirst doesn’t stop, it’s advisable to speak with a doctor. Thirst can be a symptom of one of the following diseases:
- Anaemia: it’s common to link a lack of iron and anaemia. This condition causes a lack of healthy red blood cells. The body will try to compensate the loss of liquids caused by the lack of red blood cells by demanding liquids.
- Diabetes: being thirsty all the time and a constant need to urinate might be an alert sign for diabetes. This disease causes a concentration of glucose that makes kidneys work harder. This way, it filtrates and absorbs excessive sugar in blood. Kidneys work harder but, if they cannot cope, the patient becomes dehydrated. A treatment to regulate glucose it’s thus necessary.
- Hyperthyroidism: the thyroid gland controls the body’s metabolism. The feeling of an excessive thirst could be a symptom of hyperactive thyroid, as a speeding up of the organism’s rhythms provokes the demand of more liquid, among other things.
There are thus many possible causes for feeling thirsty all the time. It’s important to pay attention to body signals and not to wait to feel thirsty in order to drink water. There are many strategies to remind oneself to drink. One of the most obvious is to always have access to a source of fresh water, ready to make thirst go away.