Causes of Excessive Thirst During Pregnancy

Certain symptoms should never be ignored during pregnancy, and one of them is intense thirst. Here, we explain the causes of excessive thirst.
Sailee Kale Apr 19, 2019
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Pregnant women have lots of questions and concerns about the changes their body undergoes, especially if it's their first time. From battling nausea and food cravings to witnessing the gradual physical changes your body is undergoing can sometimes seem all too confusing.
Though most of the symptoms like morning sickness, fatigue, cravings and aversions to a particular type of food, altered sense of taste are quite common and fade away over a length of time, some signs should never be ignored, especially if they persist for extended durations. Intense thirst is one such symptom.

Reasons for Excessive Thirst in Pregnancy

First Trimester

Body's fluid requirements shoot up in pregnancy. An average person should drink 8 glasses of water a day, but pregnant women must drink at least 10 glasses to satisfy the body's needs.
There is also a sharp increase in the blood volume of a pregnant woman, almost as much as 40%. The extra blood provides nutrition and oxygen to the developing embryo. All that extra blood your body is producing uses up a lot of water.
If you are in your first trimester and realize that you are feeling thirsty all too often, drink lots of water. This is a sign that your body needs all that extra fluid to accommodate the increasing volume of blood. Water is also crucial for new cell development and is the major constituent of amniotic fluid, especially in the first trimester.

Advice

  • Along with water, include enough fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Drink milk and fresh fruit juice. Not only are they a major source of all essential vitamins and minerals, the fluid content in them will help your body meet its demand for liquids.
  • Cut back on soda and salty foods. Salt contains sodium, and it can cause water retention, and may lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, constipation, and in severe cases may lead to miscarriage or preterm labor.
If you are still concerned about feeling thirsty all the time, make an appointment to see your ob/gyn.

Second and Third Trimesters

Almost all women experience frequent urination throughout pregnancy, especially in the first and last trimesters. It happens because the expanding uterus exerts a lot of pressure on the bladder. Even fatigue is common, since the growing baby weighs you down.
But be on the lookout for an unexplained increase in thirst, combined with feeling tired all the time and the urge to visit the bathroom often, especially during the second and third trimesters. It can be a cause of concern. It can signal the onset of gestational diabetes. When you experience all three symptoms together, do not delay visiting your doctor.
Your doctor will ask you to do a blood sugar test, called glucose tolerance test, and if the readings are above 140 mg/DL, you are at the risk of gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops in the second half of your pregnancy and disappears after childbirth. You may be more at risk, especially if you have had gestational diabetes previously.
To meet your body's changing needs, your body needs to produce more insulin, and if that does not happen, you develop this condition. It is usually treated with insulin injections and by controlling the intake of sugary foods. If left untreated, it can lead to a bigger baby, increasing the chances of a C-section.
Another cause of excessive thirst is low blood pressure. Though blurred vision, dizziness, and fainting are the more pronounced symptoms, sometimes they can be accompanied by a parched throat.
If your body is dehydrated, it is bound to hamper blood circulation as well. This is not a threatening condition and can be easily controlled by a regular exercise plan and a healthy intake of food and fluids. Do not get up with a start, and if you feel dizzy, sit down or lie down on your left side instead of lying on your back.
It is important that you be educated about most pregnancy-related physical changes so you know what to watch out for. Do not hesitate to see your doctor if you experience any unusual symptom, or when you just do not feel right, even if there is no external sign that something is wrong.
Always trust your instincts. Eat right, exercise well, and think of positive things, so you experience a healthy pregnancy and are blessed with a happy baby.
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