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Drinking Too Much Water Could Be a Bad Sign

Five reasons why you could be feeling extra thirsty.

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Chronic and excessive thirst could mean something much more serious. (Photo: Olena Kachmar /

Watch out if you’re constantly reaching for the water bottle. Polydipsia, which refers to chronic and excessive thirst, may be a result of serious conditions such as diabetes and psychological disorders. Seek proper diagnosis and treatment immediately if you’ve suddenly developed a thirst that can’t be quenched.

1. Drinking too much water could be a sign of… Poor management of diabetes

If you have diabetes (mellitus), take note. When blood sugar levels shoot up beyond what the kidney can handle, water is withdrawn from cells in order to pass the excess glucose out of the body. Increased urination brings on thirst. 

How to fix it

Invest in a home diagnostic kit to monitor blood sugar levels. Depending on the type of diabetes, treatment may range from exercise and dietary changes to medication and regular insulin injections, according to Singhealth.

(Also read: How to travel safely while managing diabetes)

2. Drinking too much water could be a sign of… Dehydration

Besides feeling parched in the throat, losing too much fluid from heat exposure and/or not drinking enough also lowers blood pressure, quickens the heartbeat and leaves you feeling faint. Severe dehydration can be fatal.

How to fix it

Drink more plain water when the weather is hot or if you’re ill. Avoid isotonic drinks with high sugar content as these can cause or worsen diarrhoea, leading to more fluid loss, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

(Also read: Proper hydration before and after exercise)

3. Drinking too much water could be a sign of… Diabetes insipidus

Characterised by excessive peeing and thirst regardless of how much one drinks, it occurs when arginine vasopressin, the hormone that controls urine production, isn’t working properly. This is usually caused by a damaged pituitary gland (it produces the hormone) or defective receptors in the kidneys. It is a rare condition, and different from diabetes mellitus (more commonly referred to as ‘diabetes’), which is characterised by high blood sugar.   

How to fix it

As its symptoms are non-specific, it’s crucial to do both a blood urine concentration test and blood test first, says Dr Stanley Liew, deputy medical director at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre. Apart from drinking more water to prevent dehydration, taking meds that mimic the action of the hormone may also help.

4. Drinking too much water could be a sign of… Psychological disorder

People who suffer from conditions like obsessive compulsive disorder, depression or anxiety may have a persistent urge to guzzle even when there’s no real need to. Too much water can lead to hyponatremia, a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low from being diluted by excessive water. This causes cells to swell, which can cause a lot of health problems.

How to fix it

See a specialist to treat the underlying problem. Suggested treatment comprises fluid restriction, medication and behavioural therapy, according to a 2007 review published in Current Psychiatry Reports.

(Also read: Take the quiz - Are you at risk for mental disorders like anxiety and depression?)

5. Drinking too much water could be a sign of… Diuretic medications

Some pills can make you pee more often, triggering an insatiable yen for water. Such medication includes those used to treat heart failure, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure and even swollen ankles.

How to fix it

“Ask for a lower dose or a non-diuretic alternative,” suggests Dr Liew. And, as a general rule of thumb, always check for possible side effects before taking new medication.

(Also read: The truth about teatox diets)  

Also read:

What Your Dizzy Spells Mean

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Drinking Too Much Water Could Be a Bad Sign Drinking Too Much Water Could Be a Bad Sign Reviewed by Lucille on 5:20:00 PM Rating: 5

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