Are you constantly thirsty in the last couple of days or weeks? Is this worrying you? Are you constantly running to the toilet as well? Increased thirst and frequent urination can be signs of different medical conditions which require proper medical assessment and treatment.
What Causes Increased Thirst and Urination?
When increased thirst is associated with frequent urination, you should seek medical help. The most common causes of these two symptoms are:
1. Type 2 Diabetes
Excessive thirst is also known as polydipsia, while increased urination is known as polyuria. These two symptoms are characteristic signs of diabetes.
Diabetes is characterized by excess sugar in the blood. Due to this reason, the kidneys are forced to work more than normal to filter and absorb the excess of sugar in the blood. When the kidneys fail to do so, the excessive sugar is excreted in the urine. The presence of sugar in the urine drags other fluids from the tissues as well. It is a vicious cycle which eventually leads to dehydration. As you start drinking more water and fluids to compensate and ease your thirst, the more urine will be produced and eliminated.
Other signs and symptoms of diabetes are:
- Weight loss
- Increased hunger
- Blurred vision
- A tingling sensation on the hands and feet
- Darkened skin in different areas
- Frequent infections
- Red, tender and swollen gums
2. Anxiety Attack
During an anxiety attack, people often feel increased thirst and the urge to urinate. These are all natural reactions to an anxiety, due to an immersed fear. Anxiety increases the acids in the stomach. The stomach acids lead to a loss of saliva which makes your mouth dry.
During an anxiety attack, a person also tends to breathe with an open mouth, due to the sense of suffocation. Mouth breathing is known to dry out the tongue, which will make you drink more water and then urinate more.
How to Help with Increased Thirst and Urination
1. Type 2 Diabetes
- Eat Healthy
The key to a good glucose control is eating healthy. Foods which are rich in fiber and low in fat should be part of your daily diet. You should eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is also important to avoid animal products, sweets and any foods rich in refined carbohydrates.
If you need help determining your diet plan, you can always get the help of a registered dietitian who will instruct and teach you what to eat, what to avoid, how many times a day and in what size portions.
- Stay Active
Physical activity is very important for everyone, especially just for diabetics. Consult your doctor if it is okay for you to start being physically active. If it’s okay, you can choose swimming, walking, biking, whichever you prefer.
Start exercising slowly if you have not been physically active in the past. Don’t overdo it and listen to your own body. You can increase the intensity, speed or frequency of your physical exercise gradually.
- Monitor the Sugar in the Blood Carefully
In case diabetes is causing your increased thirst and urination, monitoring the sugar in the blood is very important, especially if you are on insulin treatment.
If you are not sure about how many times you should measure the sugar level in the blood, consult your doctor. You should also check your glucose levels every time you don’t feel well. By closely monitoring the sugar in the blood you will make sure that the levels will remain within normal ranges.
- Take Your Medications or Insulin Regularly
Some people are able to maintain normal or controlled levels of glucose in the blood just by staying physically active and eating healthy. However, for others, this is not enough. In these cases, medications for diabetes are necessary. Medications commonly used for the treatment of diabetes are metformin, sulfonylureas, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, etc.
In the case when even these medications can’t provide normal levels of glucose in the blood, insulin is required. How many times and how much insulin you will need during a day depend on many factors and your doctor will instruct you how to correctly change and modify the doses of insulin you need each day.
2. Anxiety Attack
Treatment of anxiety attacks includes a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy and various medications such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, beta blockers, etc.
If the symptoms of anxiety attack such as increased thirst and urination occur every now and then, no medication is required. The most important thing is to recognize the anxiety, deal with your fears and prevent anxiety attacks in the future.
Some self-help tips which can help you deal with anxiety attacks include:
- Practice various relaxation techniques which will help you relax and stay stress-free. You can choose deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi, progressive muscle relaxation, etc.
- Stay in touch with others as loneliness is not good. Stay close to your friends and family or join various supportive groups which can help you avoid being alone. People who are alone tend to have problems with their fears and anxiety, often leading to anxiety attacks.
- Stay physically active as it will help you reduce the stress and anxiety. You should work at least 30 minutes each day, for at least 5 days a week. Choose between walking, swimming, running, cycling, dancing, etc. It is all individual and choose whichever you prefer the most.
- Sleep well as it helps to calm your mind.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking as they will only increase your anxiety and stress.