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Constant thirst could be warning sign of medical conditions

Constant thirst could be warning sign of medical conditions

Courtesy Parkland Health & Hospital System

Feeling parched lately? Is your mouth morphing into something straight out of the desert? Do you have a hankering for a bottomless glass of H2O? According to Parkland Health & Hospital System physicians, these may be signs that your body is sending a wake-up call that something could be physically wrong.

“The body has a way of telling you when there’s an issue,” said Noel Santini, M.D., senior medical director of Ambulatory Services at Parkland. “The problem is a lot of times we don’t heed the warning.”

Any condition that alters your water or salt balance can trigger thirst, but it could also signal conditions such as diabetes, diabetes insipidus, dry mouth, anemia, low blood pressure or a basic change in your diet.

People with diabetes may experience frequent urination, excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss, extreme hunger, blurry vision, tingling or numbness in hands or feet, recurring fatigue, very dry skin, slow-healing sores or more infections than usual.

If not well managed, diabetes can seriously impact a person’s quality of life. Complications, many of which are preventable, include heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, foot or leg amputations, nerve damage and complications of pregnancy. More than 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and another 86 million have prediabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Nine out of 10 people do not know that they have prediabetes.

Although diabetes insipidus isn’t related to the diabetes most people are familiar with, it does share some of the same signs and symptoms, such as dehydration and a busy bladder.

“Diabetes insipidus is characterized by a hormone imbalance in your body that affects water absorption,” Santini said. “Because you lose vast amounts of water through your urine, thirst strikes as your body tries to compensate for the fluid loss.”

Chronic stress is a warning sign to watch, Santini cautions. When the stress is severe this could result in low blood pressure that can cause dizziness, depression and anxiety as well as extreme thirst.

(A Wellness Update is a magazine devoted to up-to-the minute information on health issues from physicians, major hospitals and clinics, universities and health care agencies across the U.S. Online at www.awellnessupdate.com.)

(c) 2017 www.awellnessupdate.COM. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

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