Avatar universal

Permanent Dehydration and Thirst

I suffer from permanent dehydration and have for the past three years. Drinking water does not improve my symptoms to the point where I have drunk up to 240 ounces of water in a single day without change. My brain often feels fuzzy and if I don't drink constantly it begins to burn. I have difficulty thinking critically for extended periods of time, have difficulty remembering common words in conversations, and suffer from constant fatigue.

Drinking black tea or coffee makes the above symptoms significantly worse and feels as if I am having the remaining moisture in my body sucked out. A single beer is enough to make me drunk and hangovers cause me to be unable to read. Although potentially unrelated, ever since this has started diet Pepsi products make me feel as if I am losing consciousness, causing me to be dizzy, struggle to concentrate, and unable to understand what people are saying.

I have seen six doctors in three years and do not yet have a diagnosis, though I have been tested for every form of diabetes under the sun as well as scanned for brain tumors, all of which came up negative. My thyroid is also apparently fine.

Does anyone have any insights as to what these issues might be or what tests I might ask my doctors to give me?
9 Responses
4851940 tn?1515694593
Well the symptoms you describe would certainly point to diabetes.  But as you say that this has been ruled out.]

I presume that you had the glucose tests and the HbA1C blood test done.
Have a prick blood test, would give a correct reading.  These only show sugar levels at the time of the test only.

Do you eat a lot of sugar and salty foods?  Having lots of salt in your diet can make you feel very thirsty.  

The reason you experience the symptoms get worse after drinking tea and coffee is because these are diuretics.

When you experience dizzy turns and have difficulty in concentrating, it is well worth getting your urine sample checked for any infections.  Urinary infections can cause those symptoms.

Try eating a healthy and well balanced diet with no sugar or salt for a few days to see if this makes any difference.  Avoid junk and process foods as well as sugary foods.  Read food labels to see the content of the sugar and salt.  Pickles contain lots of salt.

Keep a food diary - stick to eating fresh fruit and veg with no added salt and see what results you get.  Drink plain water with no added juices.
6726276 tn?1421126668
Wow. No. Only thing is I suffer thirst as a side effect of a medication I take. I also don't respond well to alcohol and get hang overs so I don't drink.
I don't like chemicals so avoid diet drinks too.
Some people like drinks with electrolytes in them. Say they're better thirst quenchers.
  I put a vitamin c package in my water. That helps. You may want to visit a naturopathic Dr since regular Drs haven't been able to help you. Maybe a change in your diet can help. Check out our healthy cooking community. It's got a lot of helpful information.  Wish I could be of more help. Maxy
4851940 tn?1515694593
Sorry, the sentence

"Have a prick blood test, would give a correct reading.  These only show sugar levels at the time of the test only."

Should read:

"Having a prick blood test only shows how much sugar levels are present in your blood stream at the time of doing the test."

The HbA1C blood test gives the average amount of sugar that is present in the blood over a period of 9-12 weeks.  This is because the glucose sticks to the red corpuscles and they are renewed every 9-12 weeks.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the comments, I appreciate the feedback.

Due to religious fasting I largely eat grains and salads during the year with very little meat or sugar, although I do eat sweets outside the house. Since these symptoms began I've largely stopped eating salted food like soups and processed foods.

My electrolyte levels have been tested and found to be normal despite the increased water intake and reduced salt intake but I have not had HbA1C test, which sounds like it might be worth pursuing.

I'll start a food and drink diary so that I can at least take that with me on future doctor's visits. Thus far I've seen three endocrinologists, two general practitioners, and a sports specialist (as he often deals with problems relating to hydration).
4851940 tn?1515694593
I can't understand that you did have a HbA1C blood test taken.  

It still would be worth asking your doctor to arrange for you to get that done as well as send you to do a glucose test.

It is certainly a good idea to keep a food diary and write down everything that you eat and drink - including every sweet!  Jot down when your feelings of thirst too and notice whether they thirst is stronger after you have eaten your sweets.

Don't forget to write down any flavourings that are put on the salads too.

If you work out and sweat a lot or work in a very hot environment that makes you sweat a lot, that will make you thirsty too.
Avatar universal
Just to follow-up to provide more information.

I'm a 23 year-old male with a familial history of diabetes (my grandfather and uncle on my mother's side respectively had and have type-2).

The thirst that I experience takes place irrespective of physical activity and temperature; I experience it if I spend the day in bed, if I exercise strenuously, if I sit idly on a bench in the snow, or if I'm working in a parking lot in the dead of summer. As long as I drink continuously my thirst will remain plateaued at Very Thirsty, a state that I can not get past. If I fail to drink, exert myself, or hang out in the heat then I will become Terribly Thirsty or even Painfully Thirsty, at which point my brain will become inflamed and burn.

To emphasize, at no point in the past three years have I not been thirsty.
1530171 tn?1448129593
I would be surprised that after seeing 6 doctors, something as basic as
diabetes was missed. But, again, I've come across numerous situations, where doctors had missed the obvious, leaving  patients in limbo.

Note: In order to use A1C( HbA1C) as a diagnostic criterion, A1C must be measured using a validated assay standardized to the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program-Diabetes Control and Complications Trial reference. It is important to note that A1C may be misleading in individuals with various hemoglobinopathies, iron deficiency, hemolytic anaemias, and severe hepatic and renal disease (16). In addition, studies of various ethnicities indicate that African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics and Asians have A1C values that are up to 0.4% higher than those of Caucasian patients at similar levels of glycemia.
--Source: CDA Clinical Practice Guidelines---

Excessive consumption of fluids is called polydipsia.
Your details, specially the lack of any significant abnormalities and imbalances  (other than your mental fog, memory impairment, fatigue when not drinking excessively) make me suspect habit polydipsia , a condition all the doctors you have seen so far, would not be able to diagnose.
Habit polydypsia is a subtype of psychogenic polydipsia.
There are no known treatments for it, however, I have treated one case
of habit polydipsia successfully, using Hypnotherapy.
I cannot disclose any particular details, other than the fact that the basis of
of the cause was a very significant event that preceded the onset of polydipsia.
Are you able to recall any significant, perhaps traumatic event, prior to the start of  your permanent thirst and excessive water consumption?

Please note that my comments and suggestions are not intended as a substitute for medical advice.

Best wishes,

Avatar universal
Thanks for the comments Light Seeker, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

One of the doctors that I saw did consider polydipsia but it was ruled out because my sodium levels were normal. They were normal, however, because I've given up on excess drinking – I don't really care about the thirst anymore but it's the affects on my head, my ability to think, and the burning that drive me up the well and those are helped not at all by drinking in excess.

I had no traumatic events in my life prior to the onset of my symptoms. In fact I would argue that they arrived during what was easily one of the happiest times in my life and I had been very pleased with my situation for the past year. My brother is, however, schizophrenic, which is not uncommonly paired with psychogenic polydipsia.
1530171 tn?1448129593
Psychogenic/habit Polydipsia should not have been ruled out only on the basis of normal sodium levels.
According to BMJ Best Practice, in 10%-20% of  patients Psychogenic Polydipsia, is characterized by hyponatraemia.

In light of the absence of recent negative events, any triggers (unremarkable to the conscious mind) associated with an earlier past event -stemming as far back as early childhood-, should be considered before  Habit Polydipsia is ruled out

The fact that your brother is schizophrenic, warrants a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation, to rule out Psychogenic Polydipsia.

As far as your other symptoms go, I'd suspect some nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, caused by the excessive water consumption.
Drinking large amounts of water before or during meals waters down stomach acid and therefore inhibits digestion.
In particular B-complex  B12 , C and Glutathione levels should be checked.

Other areas to look into are: Mitochondrial deficiencies, hypothyroidism,
adrenal dysregulation, candida..

Hope this helps.

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