Feeling Thirsty? What that Could Say About Your Health

Feeling Thirsty? What that Could Say About Your Health

Can't quench that thirst? This might actually be your body's way of telling you that your blood sugar is high.

Those with diabetes undoubtedly know the feeling well - dry mouth along with excessive, unquenchable thirst. It's a feeling that many non-diabetics experience, as well. The feeling's not great, but thirst is actually a very important mechanism that protects your body in numerous ways.

It's a complicated process, but let's break it down!

A high blood sugar means elevated levels of sugar running through your bloodstream. How can you fix this?

By diluting the sugar (or carbohydrate) particles in your blood. When this happens, your body, and especially your kidneys, send signals to increase the fluid levels in your body, causing thirst. The extra fluid helps the kidneys dilute the sugar and expel it from the body. This is an extremely important function; without the extra fluid, huge damage can occur to the kidneys in a short period of time.

This is why it's extremely important to manage your diabetes and avoid allowing the numbers to fall out of the normal range of 70-130 mg/dL. If you're not diabetic, you may be falling out of this range unknowingly, so talk to your physician about your best course of action.

Anytime you notice increased thirst, it's time to see your physician immediately. Sometimes, an infection is coming on and, sometimes, something else is happening. Keep drinking plenty of fluids and try to avoid all sweeteners, including sugar substitutes. Fresh lemon is one of the safest additives. It has d-lemonene, which fights bacteria and it is acidic, which helps to prevent kidney stones. Add a little stevia to sweeten, if you must. Your body really needs to filter itself out and the more filtered, clean water you can give it, the better.

But why is this important?

Any early sign of diabetes or inadequate diabetes management should be taken very seriously! Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke, even when blood sugar levels are under control. In fact, about 75 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart or blood vessel disease, according to the American Heart Association. So take the signals your body is giving you and get checked out!

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Comment by nantogo
March 26, 2014
I have suffered from chronic thirst for years and had regular labs checking blood sugar. The labs were always normal or low. I recently starting drinking a liter of water before anything in the morning and it has helped take the edge off. Any other suggestions would be helpful.
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