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Increased thirst: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2024

What is the treatment ?

Excessive thirst can be a common symptom or condition in cases of high blood pressure and it can be the reaction to excessive fluid loss during exercise or when one eats salty food. It helps to detect the possible presence of diabetes. It can be a symptom of an imminent physical or emotional disease that is slowly developing in the body of a patient. The primary treatment which is a very healthy habit is to drink lots of water. Drinking plenty of water keeps the body in a healthy condition. If diabetes is diagnosed then along with drinking high amounts of fluid, one should follow the diabetes treatment regime as well. The proper medications to keep the blood sugar levels in check must be taken. Also, the amount of salty food and salt consumed must be kept in check. You should avoid drinking beverages and even if you do you must take them ice cold. Foods that have a high water content like watermelon, soup, gelatin must be consumed. Kidney-friendly food must be consumed. Coconut water is another excellent drink to quench your incessant thirst. These are just the measures which are to be followed if you are suffering from a condition of increased thirst but drinking lots of water remain the bottom line of the story irrespective of whether you are having the disease or not.

How is the treatment done?

There is no such treatment for particularly the condition of increased thirst. Increased thirst is a symptom or condition that has resulted from another complication in the body like high blood pressure or diabetes. Thus it is very important to recognize the underlying cause of increased thirst. The treatment for increased thirst is simple – drink lots and lots of water. The medical term for increased thirst is polydipsia. Now to treat the underlying cause for increased thirst the diagnosis of the cause is necessary. A very common cause is diabetes mellitus whose primary treatment concerns the lowering of the blood sugar levels of the body. This can be done by following the doctor's advice on proper exercise, diet, and medications. For type 1 diabetes, insulin is the most widely used medication and for type 2 diabetes medicine by mouth is preferred. Once the blood sugar levels are contained then increased thirst can gradually subside as well. There is another kind of diabetes known as diabetes insipidus whose treatment mostly involves drinking plenty of water. Desmopressin is sometimes recommended for this disease and is a man-made form of vasopressin. The problem of increased thirst can sometimes become psychological for which a counselor should be seen.

Who is eligible for the treatment?(When is the treatment done ?)

Anyone who is suffering from the condition of increased thirst is eligible to see a doctor and get some treatment done. People who already have diabetes mellitus must keep a regular record of their blood sugar levels and if the levels become extremely high then should contact the doctor as soon as possible. The doctor in such a case will perform tests on blood and urine to check the blood sugar levels and confirm whether the condition of increased thirst is due to diabetes mellitus or not. For a pregnant woman an oral glucose tolerance test is also performed. Thus, everyone should report their condition of increased thirst to a doctor.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Increased thirst itself is not a disease but is a symptom or condition that is developed due to another disease. Thus, it is very important to recognize the underlying cause of increased thirst. The treatment is then done for this underlying cause rather than for increased thirst. But it can also happen that a person is not suffering from any such underlying cause and yet complains of the condition of increased thirst. Polydipsia is sometimes psychological as well. Therefore such patients are not eligible for any treatment for their condition. They should consult a counselor.


Are there any Side Effects?

Increased thirst can sometimes be due to the effect of certain medications like antidepressants, antihistamines, and diuretics. So these drugs must be avoided if you have a condition of increased thirst. But sometimes these medications are important and cannot be terminated. In that case, you have to drink lots of water to minimize the effect. For diabetes insipidus, lithium treatment is used at times which may have certain side effects. Thus, the treatment of increased thirst does not have any side effects associated with it but the treatment for the underlying cause of increased thirst may involve certain side effects.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are no as such post-treatment guidelines for the disease since it is a condition developed due to another disease. Thus, the post-treatment guidelines must be followed for that underlying disease. In general, plenty of water must be consumed and meals should be taken cold and foods with a high water content like watermelon must be consumed. For cases of diabetes, the blood sugar levels must be recorded on a daily basis and care must be taken to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Since this is a condition that can persist for a lifetime, proper medications must be taken on q regular basis.

How long does it take to recover?

Increased thirst is a symptom of an underlying disease and this disease must be diagnosed as early as possible. Once this underlying disease is recognized, the treatment for the disease is started. If the cause is diabetes mellitus vigorous treatment is carried out until the blood sugar levels are in check. Once the blood sugar levels are in check they have to be maintained in that condition for the rest of their lives. Thus, there is no such recovery period and the recovery depends on the patient and his/her discipline in life. The medications should be taken regularly without fail and along with it proper exercise and diet must be followed in order to have a long life.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Increased thirst is not a condition that can be treated by medications. But the cause of increased thirst can be treated. Often this cause is identified as diabetes for which the treatment cost varies with the different clinics where the treatment is done. First, there is a consultation fee of the doctors that depend on them and the clinics where they practice. It can range from a 500 hundred to a 2000 thousand. Then there are the medications for diabetes which are available at an affordable rate all across India. Then there are the blood tests which again has different cost according to the test center you choose.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The treatments have been designed to keep the blood sugar levels in check in cases of diabetes which leads to polydipsia or increased thirst. The medicines have to be taken on time and in a regular manner and shouldn't be skipped at any cost. Along with the medications, exercise and proper diet are necessary to make the effects of the treatment permanent. Any improper habit may again lead to increased blood sugar levels which may lead to increased thirst.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

As of now, there are no alternatives to the treatment of diabetes where insulin is the only way out. But right now, a newer approach to treat diabetes have evolved with the help of ayurvedic medicine. These medicines are also cheaper than the synthetic ones. Ayurveda is one of the most primitive forms of the medical system yet they are effective till date and are associated with a lot fewer side effects. Different herbs are used to make these medicines and are easily available in the market. Thus, this is a new way of treating diabetes mellitus and is quickly gaining popularity.


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Written ByDr. Atindra Nath Bagchi Diploma in CardiologyGeneral Physician
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