More than five and a half million people are currently experiencing diabetes symptoms without actually being diagnosed. Diabetes is a disorder that affects the metabolism. The medical name for this disorder is diabetes mellitus. Originally discovered in ancient times, the disease was named diabetes which means siphon. The patients who suffered from this condition were often known to drink water and pass it like they were a siphon, hence the name. In more recent times, the addition of mellitus was added when it was discovered that the urine of these patients was often sweet and would attract ants. Mellitus translates from the Greek to mean sweet water; which makes the entire medical condition siphoning of sweet water.
Incredible thirst is very common and is one of the first symptoms that leads to a diagnose of diabetes in many patients. A person with diabetes will often feel the need to drink copious amounts of water due to a feeling of dehydration or dry mouth. Though initially believed to be a result of dehydration or overexertion in some patients, it is actually the body’s natural reaction to a diabetic’s metabolism. Polydipsia, or excessive thirst, is how the body let’s us know that our kidneys are working in overdrive.
To better understand, we first to need to look at how diabetes affects the body. Diabetes mellitus is the name given when a patient’s pancreas does not produce the amount of insulin needed to transport glucose into the cells. There are three main types of diabetes; type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is where the body produces absolutely no insulin to aid in normal metabolic functions. Type 2 diabetes is where the pancreas may produce insulin but it is either not enough, or does not work properly. Gestational diabetes is when you acquire the disorder only during pregnancy; this condition is cured by birth of the fetus. In all three cases a major symptom is the need to consume large quantities of water.
Without the ability to transfer the glucose into the cells via insulin, the body must find a way to flush the sugar. This is where the kidneys get involved. Normally, the kidney uses water to dilute the body’s metabolic waste, which in turn produces urine. However, there is only so much dilution that can occur before the urine is saturated and the kidney becomes overwhelmed. To help with this problem, the kidney will begin to siphon off water from other areas and tissues within the body, to better dilute the glucose. This forced dehydration leads to the cotton dry mouth and craving of water that is so common in diabetes sufferers.
The truth of the matter is that diabetes has a whole host of symptoms that can be extremely detrimental to a patients health. If you have already been diagnosed with any form of diabetes and are still experiencing polydipsia, then you probably need to consult with your doctor for an adjustment on medications. You will also need to regularly check your blood sugar levels, if you do not already do so. Excessive thirst is not a normal bodily occurrence and all recurring and chronic forms should be discussed with a healthcare professional.