Feeling thirsty after a run in 90-degree heat? That’s normal. But feeling thirsty out of the blue could be a different story. “In general, you either get thirsty if your sodium is going up or you are volume depleted, meaning you lost fluid,” Maureen Brogan, MD, a nephrologist at Westchester Medical Center, told Fox News.
Sometimes, it’s nothing to worry about, while other times it could signal a deeper health issue. Here are five possible explanations for why you’re always parched.
1. Too many salty snacks
If chowing down on a bag of chips sends your thirst into overdrive, don’t panic. The body tries to maintain a balance of sodium and water, so when you take in more salt, your body shoots off signals telling you to up your water intake, Brogan said. For most people, it’s not a big deal. But it can cause fluid overload, which can be a problem for someone with high blood pressure, cirrhosis or chronic kidney disease, Brogan said.
Heading to the bathroom often can be a sign of diabetes. It’s the body’s way of getting rid of excess sugar, Brogan said. Diabetes patients will then become thirsty as the body tries to make up for the water that exits in the urine.
3. Reaction to medicine
Some medications list dry mouth as a side effect, meaning your mouth may produce less saliva than usual, which triggers your thirst, Brogan said. Be on the lookout for antihistamines (commonly found in allergy medicines), Dramamine (which helps fight motion sickness), antipsychotic drugs and blood pressure medications.
4. Sjögren syndrome
One of the tell-tale signs you have this autoimmune disease is dryness in the eyes, mouth and skin, according to the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation. Women comprise 90 percent of patients with the condition, and it usually occurs after age 40. Early diagnosis is key, so pay attention to the dryness as well as other symptoms, including fatigue and joint pain.
5. Diabetes insipidus
Most people pass 1 to 2 quarts of urine a day, but a person with this rare disorder will pass between 3 and 20 quarts, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Just like with diabetes, excessive urination induces those thirsty feelings as the body tries to make up for the fluid loss.
Brogan recommended seeking medical attention if you feel light-headed, dizzy and thirsty to the point where you feel like you can’t possibly drink enough to quench your thirst.