The body gives different signals about its trouble. And you need to learn how to decipher them correctly. The use of large amounts of water is usually welcome – doctors advise using at least one and a half liters of fluid per day. Many are glad that they want and can drink a lot – you don’t have to force yourself. However, there are situations when thirst becomes excessive and indicates ill health. When it is necessary to visit a doctor in such a situation and what severe pathologies thirst can signal.

Thirst is the body’s way of reporting a lack of water necessary for normal life, the specialist explains. However, a constant desire to drink can also indicate health problems.

How to understand that thirst is pathological?

Elena Mamontova names the following points as signs of excessive water consumption:


  • frequent urination;
  • peripheral edema of the extremities and face (swelling in the tissues that feed on the peripheral vascular system);
  • headache;
  • nausea.

If something is embarrassing about your condition and it seems that your water intake is becoming excessive, you should see a doctor.


Why can there be pathological thirst?

Usually, experts identify both physical and pathological causes of thirst, says Elena Mamontova. The first ones include:

  • Eating a large amount of salty foods in the diet. This leads to excessive accumulation of sodium in the extracellular fluid.
  • Prolonged physical activity and high ambient temperature, in which the body loses moisture and electrolytes.

The most common pathological causes of dehydration are:

1. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is accompanied by an increased level of glucose in the urine (above 8 mmol / l), which is excreted from the body with water. Thirst is what the body needs in this case to replenish moisture: a person can consume up to 3-4 liters of water per day.

2. Diabetes insipidus. This disease, characterized by a violation of the hormone vasopressin, reduces the ability of the kidneys to direct water back into the vessels. A lot of urine is excreted with a low concentration of electrolytes, a person can lose up to 10 liters of fluid per day and replenish the same amount when feeling very thirsty.

3. Severe diarrhea, frequent vomiting and other diseases accompanied by a serious increase in body temperature. The body in this case loses a lot of water and electrolytes and signals the need to replenish fluid reserves with the help of thirst.

4. Primary renal pathologyin which the process of accumulation of sodium in the kidneys is disrupted.

It may also be accompanied by a feeling of thirst when taking certain medications. Usually in such a situation, Elena Mamontova emphasizes, they mean tetracycline antibiotics, lithium preparations, hypoglycemic agents, alpha-blockers (for the treatment of arterial hypertension), drugs for the treatment of obesity.

Consequences of excessive thirst

If you ignore such a loud signal from the body and try to drown out your thirst by drinking water, there is a risk of facing serious consequences, Elena Mamontova warns.

Excessive hydration (excessive water content) of the body causes:

  • drop in body temperature;
  • increased salivation;
  • nausea and even vomiting;
  • impaired coordination of movements, the appearance of convulsions, muscle weakness.

In the absence of timely treatment of hyperhydration (excessive fluid intake), a person may develop heart failure, swelling of the brain and lungs, Elena Mamontova warns.