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Excessive Thirst During Pregnancy: Causes, Signs, And Ways To Deal With It

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You may start experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy one or two weeks after you’ve conceived. One such symptom is excessive thirst, which is usually the result of the various changes in the body. Sometimes, pregnant women may feel thirsty all the time. Read this MomJunction post to know more about excessive thirst during pregnancy, the reasons for it, and simple measures to deal with it.

Is It Normal To Feel Extremely Thirsty During Pregnancy?

It is normal to feel intense thirst during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, when you start to experience the other symptoms. However, some women may have the urge to drink more water even during the second and third trimesters.

Sometimes, you may feel thirsty even after drinking enough water, which could make you wonder if all is well with your body. This feeling of excessive thirst could be managed once you know the reasons for it. Some pathological conditions such as diabetes and excessive vomiting may make you thirsty.

What Are The Causes Of Excessive Thirst During Pregnancy?

One of the primary reasons for feeling extremely thirsty is not drinking enough water. Other reasons for it could be:

  1. Fluid requirements: Adults need 1 to 1.5ml of water for every calorie taken. But during pregnancy, as the calorie consumption increases by 300, the water intake should also increase by 300 milliliters. When the recommended daily amount of water is not met, you could experience an intense thirst (1).
  1. Extra blood: During pregnancy, the volume of the blood increases to meet the oxygen requirements of the baby. The additional blood may require additional water intake. So even if you are drinking excess water, it is used up to make blood, and you might feel thirsty (2).
  1. Build new cells and tissues: Fluids do more than quench your thirst. Pregnant women require water to build new cells and tissues to support digestion, let out toxins, transport nutrients, and form amniotic fluid. The water you drink is used for all these and could leave you feeling thirsty again (2).
  1. Frequent urination: From the second trimester, the fetus starts growing, and the uterus expands. The pressure on the bladder makes you want to urinate often, leaving you drained and thirsty again. This could happen in the case of gestational diabetes as well.
  1. Low blood pressure: If you have low blood pressure, then you could experience unusual thirst and dehydration while you are pregnant. And if you fail to drink enough water, you might also experience dizziness (3).
  1. Diabetes insipidus: It is one of the rare conditions that might cause excessive thirst, along with polyuria, during pregnancy (4). A proper diagnosis of the condition by a medical professional could help detect and treat the condition.

Other than the above, intake of salty and spicy foods could make you intensely thirsty. Also, if you consume a lot of caffeinated beverages, you could feel dehydrated, parched, and thirsty.

[Read: Symptoms Of Dehydration During Pregnancy]

What Other Symptoms Do You Experience With Excessive Thirst?

There could be various symptoms indicating that you need more water. Some of them include:

  • Persistent dryness in the mouth and throat
  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness
  • Blurred vision and dizziness
  • Leg pain

If you experience these symptoms, it is important that you take the necessary remedial steps.

How To Deal With Extreme Thirst During Pregnancy?

Besides drinking plenty of water, you could do the following to manage excessive thirst during pregnancy.

  1. Have more fruits and vegetables. This may not only increase the fluid content in your body but may also help you meet the nutritional requirements.
  1. You may have more sugar-free fruit juices and milk to meet the body’s need for fluids.
  1. You should limit the intake of salty or spicy foods and also avoid soda or caffeinated drinks for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
  1. Always keep a bottle of water with you, whether you are indoors or going outside.
  1. Drinking lemonade also helps in fulfilling the body’s needs for fluids during pregnancy.
  1. You may suck on your favorite popsicle or flavored ice to quench your thirst.
  1. You might get a water bottle with measurements on it. This could help you regulate the fluid intake and prevents you from drinking beyond the requirements.

If you are unable to manage the condition through any of the above measures, and if the symptoms are not tolerable, consult a professional.

[Read: Dry Mouth During Pregnancy]

When Does It Become A Cause For Concern?

Watch your symptoms and understand your body’s requirements during pregnancy. This might help you know when to meet the doctor. You should contact the doctor:

  1. When you lose excess water from your body through frequent urination.
  1. If you are excessively thirsty even after drinking the required amounts of water.
  1. Intense thirst could be a sign of gestational diabetes, get it checked and treated accordingly.
  2. When there are clinical signs of dehydration, such as reduced blood pressure, increased pulse rate, ketotic breath, ketones in the urine, and reduced urine output.

In the next section, we answer some common questions related to thirst during pregnancy.

Frequently Answered Questions

1. Is it good to drink water at night during pregnancy?

It may not be harmful to drink water at night or before going to sleep. It is better to keep a bottle of water near your bed as you may get thirsty anytime during the night. However, the only thing that could trouble you in such a case is frequent trips to the bathroom.

2. Can drinking too much water result in too much amniotic fluid?

Drinking plenty of water might not result in too much amniotic fluid. However, it is best to drink water as per the requirements of your body and not more than the recommended volume. On the other hand, less water consumption causes a transient reduction in the amniotic fluid. 

3. Does not drinking enough water cause miscarriage?

Not drinking enough water may not result in any severe pregnancy complications. But make sure to consult your doctor if you sense trouble with your body. Sometimes, food poisoning or dehydration can be harmful, needing hospitalization and parenteral fluid therapy.

4. Can hot water cause miscarriage?

Extremely hot water could burn your tongue, so try to have warm water instead. Warm water during pregnancy could be beneficial in many ways as it could detoxify your body, relieve constipation, hydrate your skin, and may help in better blood circulation.

[ Read: Frequent Urination During Pregnancy ]

Although excessive thirst during pregnancy is not something to be worried about, you should know what is causing the symptom so that you can try to prevent any further complications. Keep drinking as much water as required and eat healthy to have a safe pregnancy.

Did you feel intense thirst during the early weeks of your pregnancy? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below.

References:

  1. K. S. Montgomery; Nutrition Column An Update on Water Needs during Pregnancy and Beyond; The Journal of Perinatal Education (2002)
  2. L. Cruz; How Hydration During Pregnancy Can Benefit You And Your Baby; Intermountain Health Care (2017)
  3. Low Blood Pressure – When Blood Pressure Is Too Low; American Heart Association
  4. M. Sum, J. B. Fleischer, A. G. Khandji, and S. L. Wardlaw; Pitfall in the Diagnosis of Diabetes Insipidus and Pregnancy; Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology (2017)

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