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What is excessive thirst during pregnancy? Is it common?

In pregnancy, the body needs extra fluids and the body often feels that it is not getting enough to drink. It is not sure if it is a normal or abnormal sign in pregnancy.

Causes of excessive thirst in pregnancy

• Insufficient water intake
• Feeling hotter
• Sweating extensively
• Gestational diabetes

Need for more fluids

• Raised hormonal levels particularly estrogen.
• Need of creating amniotic fluid in the womb for baby.
• Overtime working of the kidneys for removing waste created by the baby too.
• Increase in the blood circulation by about 40%.
• Water helps increasing volume of the blood.

When should the doctor be contacted?

If there is sudden increase in thirst, with other signs like blurred vision and tiredness, then visiting the doctor is recommended. If you feel your thirst is out of control and having water is also not sufficient enough, then it is best to get a check up with the doctor for any underlying condition associated with it. A persistent thirst can be a serious sign to be checked up for.
Excessive thirst along with other signs may be an indicator of a medical treatment. There can be an underlying problem where the fluid intake has to be raised to treat the condition. Both proper nutrition, and also fluid intake are prominent for proper growth of baby and mother’s health. In pregnancy, fluid and raised calories are essential.

Symptoms of excessive thirst

• Dry mouth, particularly in night
• Frequent urination
• Swelling of the hands and/or feet
• Swelling of ankles

Excessive thirst can also be due to water retention as a party of swelling particularly in 3rd trimester. When sufficient water is not taken in, the body takes water from the intestines leading to constipation.

Dehydration causes:

• Headaches
• Irritability
• Premature labor

Excessive thirst can lead to a condition in pregnancy named gestational diabetes. When the body is unable to produce insulin sufficient enough for mother and baby then thirst might be accompanied with diabetes in pregnancy. In the 24th week of pregnancy, the condition is tested for in most women who are pregnant.

Need of Hydration:

• Kidneys flush out extra waste of the baby and mother from the body
• Amniotic sac protects the baby when it is filled with fluids
• Night sweats
• Increased body temperature

Blood Volume: A need to accommodate the extra volume of blood which increases by about 40 percent in pregnancy, may lead to extra thirst. This extra blood provides nutrition and oxygen to the baby in the womb in pregnancy. Water is also essential for new cells development.

Low Blood Pressure: In the initial 24 weeks, the blood pressure lowers due to heart’s overtime work to pump in extra blood in the body. This can lead to extra thirst.

Other symptoms associated are:

• Dizziness
• Lightheadedness
• Fainting
• Blurred vision
• Nausea
• Cold skin
• Clammy skin
• Paleness
• Shallow breathing
• Fatigue

Prevention and Treatment of excessive thirst in pregnancy:

• Stay hydrated at all times, have a bottle of water all the time at your reach.
• Salty foods must be avoided
• Caffeine should be avoided as it raises thirst
• Having milk is very good as it shall provide both mother and baby’s body with calcium.
• Have plenty of veggies and fruits.
• Have fresh juices.

About 8 ounces of water is the least required water in a day. You can consume more if you feel hot often and had vomiting due to morning sickness.
Women’s glow in pregnancy is associated with the water intake in pregnancy. Excessive thirst in overall can be attributed to all the body changes and expansions taking place in pregnancy.

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