Polydipsia, also known as excessive thirst, is a condition in which an individual experiences a frequent or persistent feeling of thirst. The condition is usually accompanied by an increased intake of fluids, in an effort to quench an unquenchable thirst. People with polydipsia may consume up to 5 to 6 liters of fluids daily, whereas a healthy adult typically drinks between 1.5 to 2.5 liters of fluids per day.

Polydipsia is usually caused by a medical condition or certain medications. Diabetes is the most common medical condition associated with polydipsia, as the body attempts to flush excess glucose out of the bloodstream through increased fluid intake. Taking certain medications, such as corticosteroids, may also lead to increased thirst and may activate the thirst mechanism in the brain.


  • Dry mouth
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea on occasion
  • Frequent instances of drinking water or other liquids
  • Weight loss due to intake of large amounts of fluids


Blood tests to check for electrolyte levels, blood glucose, and kidney function may be performed in order to diagnose polydipsia. In addition to looking at the underlying medical condition or medication as the cause, the doctor may also suggest a medication to help regulate the feeling of thirst.


Treatment for polydipsia is directed at the underlying cause. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing the amount of fluid intake and avoiding activities that may further increase thirst sensations, can help manage the symptoms of polydipsia. If diabetes is an underlying cause, the patient may need to monitor their blood sugar levels more often. Some doctors may also prescribe medications that are known to reduce thirst sensations.