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Polydipsia: Excessive Thirst

Polydipsia: Excessive Thirst
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excessive thirst

Polydipsia is also known as excessive thirst. Excessive thirst refers to a constant thirst that is not quenched after drinking. Patients with polydipsia can often drink excessive amounts of liquids to the point that it leads to serious medical problems. Polydipsia can be an isolated occurrence or an ongoing problem due to an underlying medical problem.

What Causes Polydipsia?

  • Eating very salty or spicy foods
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme exercise
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Burns
  • Significant blood loss
  • Certain medications
    • Lithium
    • Diuretics
    • Anti-psychotics
  • Diabetes
  • Heart failure
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Sepsis
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Hepatitis
  • Autoimmune disorders

Types of Polydipsia

Primary Psychogenic Polydipsia

Primary Psychogenic Polydipsia is excessive thirst that is caused by a mental or emotional issues, including stress and anxiety.

Non-Psychogenic Primary Polydipsia

Non-Psychogenic Primary Polydipsia is excessive thirst that is caused by an underlying medical condition or lifestyle factor.

Polydipsia Symptoms

  • Extreme thirst
  • Urinating more than 5 liters per day
  • Persistent dry mouth
  • Feeling Abnormally Hungry
  • Having Blurry Vision
  • Exhaustion
  • Abnormal Weight Loss
  • Getting Frequent Sores Or Infections
  • Slow Healing of Sores Or Infections
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Seizures


Diagnosing Polydipsia

A primary care physician can diagnose polydipsia. Your doctor may order blood tests and other diagnostic testing to check for certain underlying medical conditions that can cause excessive thirst. In some cases, polydipsia may be diagnosed by an emergency room physician if it has led to overhydration.

Treating Polydipsia

Treating polydipsia depends on the cause. If the excessive thirst is caused by psychological issues, cognitive behavioral therapy can help control the compulsion to drink. If the polydipsia is caused by an underlying medical condition, management of this condition can resolve the excessive thirst.

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