Excessive thirst

It's normal to sometimes feel thirsty but it's not normal to constantly feel thirsty even when you're drinking a lot. See a GP to find out what's causing your excessive thirst.

Why am I always thirsty?

Most of the time if you're feeling thirsty it's because you need to drink more fluids. This can happen if you:

  • sweat a lot after doing exercise
  • are unwell with sickness and diarrhoea
  • don't drink enough fluids
  • drink too much alcohol or caffeine
  • eat salty or spicy food
  • have a high temperature of 38C or above
  • are pregnant

Important

Drink more fluids and avoid alcohol or caffeine to see if it helps. If you don't you may be at risk of becoming dehydrated.

Check if you're dehydrated

Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include:

  • feeling thirsty
  • dark yellow and strong-smelling pee
  • peeing little and less than 4 times a day
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • feeling tired
  • dry mouth, lips and eyes

Find out more about dehydration.

See a GP if you have excessive thirst and:

  • drinking more fluids for several days hasn't helped
  • you frequently need to pee
  • you're pregnant

Your GP will check if your excessive thirst is being caused by something – for example, diabetes, anaemia or medicines you're taking.

The treatment you have will depend on what's causing your excessive thirst.

Is it dry mouth or excessive thirst?

You may think you're thirsty when you actually have a dry mouth.

If it's a dry mouth you may have:

  • a burning sensation or soreness in your mouth
  • changes in your sense of taste
  • difficulty speaking, eating or swallowing.

Find out more about dry mouth.

Page last reviewed: 03/04/2018
Next review due: 03/04/2021

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