We’ve composed before about the signs and symptoms of diabetes. While there are a great deal of sources about what symptoms diabetes causes, as well as some excellent info about why they’re bad for you, what you do not frequently get are the “whys”. And while the “whys” aren’t always important for your long-lasting health, they can help you to understand what’s happening with your body and why it acts the way it does. That, in turn, can help with acceptance and understanding of how to much better treat the symptoms, which in turn can help you remain on an excellent diabetes management routine. In short, you do not NEED to understand why diabetes causes excessive thirst, but knowing the system behind it can make your blood glucose control regimen make more sense and assist you adhere to it.
So why DOES diabetes cause thirst? First, we ‘d like to begin by stating that extreme thirst is not a good sign of diabetes. For many people, the symptom approaches so slowly that it’s nearly difficult to determine if your thirst has significantly increased (unless you keep a spreadsheet of how much water you drink, in which case you likewise probably get evaluated pretty regularly anyhow). It’s likewise a typical sufficient symptom that a sudden boost in thirst can indicate nearly anything. Some conditions that cause thirst increases consist of allergic reactions, the influenza, the common cold, practically anything that causes a fever, and dehydration triggered by vomiting or diarrhea. So while excessive thirst is among those diabetes symptoms that occurs, and needs to be resolved, it’s not always a fantastic sign that you should right away head out and get an A1C test.
Why does diabetes cause thirst?
Excessive thirst, when connected to another condition as a symptom or comorbidity, is called polydipsia. It’s generally one of the earliest symptoms of diabetes to establish, and is often accompanied by extreme dryness of the mouth (“cotton mouth”). In many people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, the thirst constructs slowly enough that it is typically extremely tough to discover up until other symptoms present themselves or until the point of major dehydration.
When glucose ends up being hyper-concentrated in your blood stream, generally about 200mg/dL — though this number varies from person to person, your kidney loses the ability to reuptake (pull out) glucose from water. Under normal scenarios, nearly all glucose is pulled out of urine and back into the body (as is the majority of the water, though this depends on how hydrated you are). Given that the body can no longer pull glucose out from water in your kidneys, the osmotic pressure (the pressure that constructs in between a liquid with a high concentration of solutes and a liquid with a low concentration) builds up. Ultimately, it gets so high that water can no longer be soaked up back into your blood stream, and is in truth being absorbed OUT of your blood stream.
Also read: What Can Diabetics Drink?
Side-effects of Type 1 diabetes dehydration
Increased thirst, itself, might look like a small issue. The underlying dehydration that causes it, however, is incredibly major. Immediate effects of not dealing with severe diabetes-related dehydration can consist of headaches, queasiness, lightheadedness, and fainting.
For people with diabetes, dehydration can also cause diabetic ketoacidosis. DKA is a condition that causes naturally-occurring acids to build up in the body and can cause coma, organ failure, and even death.
Even more problematic, severe dehydration in fact causes blood sugar levels to increase faster than normal. Part of the reason for this is that the kidneys gradually begin to produce less urine than usual in the presence of prolonged dehydration, therefore will not be able to expel as much excess glucose. A less popular reason is that dehydration causes the body to launch adrenaline and other hormones that act as insulin blockers. For those with Type 2 diabetes, the result is as if their diabetes had actually all of a sudden kicked into overdrive, and glucose stops being broken down practically totally.
Also read: Diabetes Insipidus: Symptoms and Causes
If you notice any prolonged symptoms of dehydration, you need to immediately set up a consultation with your doctor. If the symptoms include absence of awareness, shock, or severe impairment, please call an emergency situation paramedic team immediately.
Even if you don’t have symptoms of dehydration, drinking lots of water is a fundamental part of handling a healthy blood sugar level, and remaining healthy in general.