This Is Why You're Thirsty All The Time

Do you often feel like you crave a cool glass of water — and it's not just because you just finished a jumbo plate of Buffalo wings? It's important to stay hydrated, of course, but feeling thirsty all the time can signal an underlying problem ranging from mild to call-the-doctor serious, according to Cleveland Clinic

Most of the time, thirst is your body's way of saying that you need more H2O (USGS reports an adult body is 60 percent water, after all). The Good Housekeeping Institute's registered dietician, Stefani Sassos, told the magazine, "You want to aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water each day." Remember that eight ounces equals one cup, which means you'll need about eight cups of water a day if you weigh around 130 pounds. You'll want to up that amount if you've been working out, sweating a lot, or simply being more physically active than usual (cleaning out the garage, taking the new puppy for walks). 

Here are some other reasons you might be reaching for the water bottle more often.

Dry mouth and pregnancy can cause you to feel thirsty all the time

According to WebMD, one of the culprits behind excessive thirst can be dry mouth, a condition that causes underproduction of the salivary glands. Your whole mouth may feel sticky, and your lips may become chapped. A doctor may recommend over-the-counter mouthwashes and other treatments to moisten your mouth and relieve your thirst. 

Feeling constantly thirsty can be one of the early signs of diabetes, explains Northwestern Medicine. The reason? Diabetes affects the body's ability to regulate blood glucose. As the glucose levels rise, the body tries to get rid of it through urination, and dehydration occurs. If you're experiencing extreme thirst along with other diabetes symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and slow healing of cuts and bruises, talk to your doctor (via American Diabetes Association).

Are you expecting? Congratulations — and keep the water coming. British physician Donald Grant, MD, told The Bump, "It's entirely normal to feel extra thirsty during pregnancy, even during the first trimester." He adds that women need more fluids during this time to maintain amniotic fluid levels and support their own and their baby's blood circulation. Thirst that doesn't go away after drinking, however, may be a sign of a condition such as gestational diabetes.

Other medical issues can make you thirsty

Any number of other medical conditions — from a case of the flu to anemia to an autoimmune disease — can bring on polydipsia, the medical term for excessive thirst. Women's Health adds that simply eating too much salt can bring on that craving for water. (Remember that the recommended daily amount of salt is only one teaspoon, or 2,300 milligrams; most Americans consume way more than that.) People with certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, can feel compelled to drink more than they need to, explains WebMD

Though it's crucial to stay hydrated, drinking too much water can actually be dangerous if it causes the body to lose vital levels of sodium. If you're concerned about your thirst level, consult a medical professional.