Wellness

Diabetes Thirst: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention and What to Drink

diabetic thirst

Diabetes thirst or Polydipsia is one of the classic symptoms of diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. The patient feels thirsty, s/he drinks water, then urinate and then again feels thirsty. This cycle continues until the blood sugar levels come within acceptable limits. 

This is the body’s coping-up phenomena to the excessive blood sugar levels in the diabetic patient’s body. Diabetes thirst is more prominent at night and this disturbs the quality of sleep, leads to fatigue and makes the person irritable as well. 

This article throws light on all aspects of diabetes thirst, what is it and its causes. The article also talks about how to get rid of diabetes thirst and how to stop frequent urination in diabetes. Let’s get started!

In this article, we have covered:

  1.  What is Diabetes Thirst
  2. Diabetes Thirst Symptoms
  3. Diabetes Thirst Causes
  4. Diabetes Thirst Treatment
  5. What Should Diabetic Patients Drink 

What is Diabetes Thirst

It is like a vicious circle which starts when your blood has excess sugar in it and your body is not able to use it because of insulin deficiency or insufficiency. So the kidneys start to eliminate that excess sugar from your body in the form of urine. To form urine, kidneys pull water from the body. This makes you thirsty and is known as diabetes thirst. 

The person will feel thirsty as the body is using up water to make more urine. This imbalance in blood sugar levels makes you drink more water and then makes you urinate more often. This doesn’t stop until the blood sugar levels decrease a bit and it happens often if your blood sugar levels are constantly high.

Check Out: Homemade Electrolyte Drinks For Diabetics

Symptoms Associated with Diabetes Thirst

Along with the classic symptom of being excessively thirsty, here are a few other symptoms to look out for – 

  • You feel constantly thirsty and have a dry mouth even after drinking a good amount of water.
  • Diabetic thirst at night is more prominent than during the day, so you feel an urge to drink more water, especially at night.
  • You feel more hungry than usual.
  • Fatigue also sets in due to the bathroom trips and constant dry mouth.
  • Weight loss may occur if the symptoms are not handled in time.
  • The patient feels irritable and other mood changes may accompany as well. 
  • Delayed Wound Healing is another symptom of diabetes. 
  • Some people complain of numbness in their hands and feet that can be due to diabetic neuropathy. However, in most cases, it is just the vitamin b12 deficiency due to the diabetes medications.  

Also Read: Foods High in Vitamin B12

Possible Causes of Diabetes Thirst

  • High Blood Sugar Levels – Excessive Blood Sugar running in your blood needs to be discarded with urine. The water is then taken from the tissues of the body to make urine. This makes the person thirsty all the time.
  • Diabetes Insipidus – A rare type of diabetes that affects kidney functioning can also be the reason behind diabetes thirst.
  • Medication – Side-effects of the medications that you are taking for diabetes or any other medical condition can also be the cause of diabetes thirst.
  • Pre-diabetes thirst – Some pre-diabetic people also experience these symptoms. By controlling the diet and adding the right hydration to your routine, you can quench this thirst and get rid of these symptoms.
  • Gestational Diabetes – It is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. If the symptoms are not taken into account then it can harm the fetus and the mother as well. If you are pregnant and feeling excessively thirsty, check your blood sugar levels as a priority.
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    How to Prevent Diabetes Thirst

    • Stay Hydrated 

    Well, this is the easiest and the most crucial way to get rid of diabetes thirst. Drinking the right liquid to prevent dehydration is necessary.

    If your body will get dehydrated then it won’t be able to get rid of the excess sugar. High blood sugar levels can be very harmful to your body and organ health. It can cause Heart disease, stroke and kidney failure etc. 

    Know More: Tips & Drinks to Stay Hydrated Without Drinking Water

    • Dietary Modification 

    Switch to a diabetes-friendly diet that is low carb, low sugar and high in fiber. Also, decrease the amount of coffee and tea you drink in a day, and choose healthy liquids like electrolyte drinks, coconut water and nature’s elixir, simple pure water.

    Make sure to avoid excess salt & junk food, salt makes your body absorb water too, thereby making the situation worse. 

    • Physical Activity 

    Exercising is very important to use up the extra glucose lying in the blood. Maintain a healthy weight as per your height to avoid any diabetes and obesity-related complications. Walking, swimming, jogging, running and stair climbing are good exercises to choose from. 

    • Medications

    Hypoglycemics or diabetes medicines like metformin are required to keep the blood sugar levels within normal limits.

    So if you are a diabetic, then get your medications prescribed by the doctor to keep the blood glucose in check. Also, get those medications checked that you are already taking so that you may know if any of them is the culprit of your diabetes thirst.

    • Regular Check-up

    Regular blood sugar levels checkup is required to prevent the state of ketoacidosis and hyperglycemia. Fasting blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance test and HbA1c are some of the most common tests that need to be performed.

    What You Should Drink

    Drinking electrolyte water is advised as it will prevent any loss of minerals. As frequent urination makes you lose not just the water but some minerals as well. This can cause weakness and cramps if not managed properly, which is why an electrolyte drink is your best bet. Make sure you switch to the no-sugar version of the electrolyte drink otherwise you will be doing more harm than good. 

    Conclusion

    Diabetes thirst is a tell-tale sign of uncontrolled blood sugar levels. By staying hydrated, taking the right diet and staying physically active, you can stop this excessive thirst. Taking your medicines on time and avoiding stress are also important to prevent any complications.

    You don’t need to panic in case you feel you are thirsty all the time, it can be a pre-diabetic condition as well or just your dietary habits. Whatever it is, don’t ignore such symptoms and take the necessary measures to be in your best health always!

    Resources:

    • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29563012/
    • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23547550/

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