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Thirst - excessive
Alternative namesIncreased thirst; Polydipsia; Excessive thirst
DefinitionExcessive thirst is an abnormal feeling of constantly needing to consume fluids.
Drinking lots of water is usually healthy. However, the urge to drink excessively beyond a certain limit may reflect an underlying disease, either physical or emotional. Excessive thirst may be a symptom of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and can be an important clue in detecting diabetes .
Excessive thirst is a fairly common symptom and is often the reaction to fluid loss during exercise or intake of salty foods.
Because thirst is usually the body's way of replacing water loss, it is usually advisable to drink plenty of liquids.
For compulsive thirst, seek psychological help.
For thirst caused by diabetes , follow prescribed therapy to properly control blood sugar levels .
Call your health care provider if
The health care provider will obtain your medical history and will perform a physical examination .
Medical history questions documenting excessive thirst in detail may include the following:
A psychological evaluation may be recommended if compulsive thirst (of psychologic origin) is suspected. Fluid intake and output will be closely monitored.
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include the following:
Update Date: 5/4/2003Bridget Martell, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT