Excessive Thirst in Children

Over the top thirst might be a side effect of a genuine sickness or turmoil. This article records the different causes and approaches to manage this issue in youngsters.

Excessive thirst is a common symptom of a larger problem that many children may complain about. Most parents tend to ignore this symptom, as they claim that children play outside most of the time and therefore tend to get dehydrated easily. However, there may be more to this symptom than what meets the eye. Excessive thirst in children could be an indicator of a serious underlying disorder your little one may be suffering from. Given below are the various causes of this symptom and ways to deal with the same.

Diabetes Mellitus
One of the most common causes of this symptom is diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by the classic triad of polyphagia (excessive hunger), polydipsia (excessive thirst), and polyuria (excessive urination). These symptoms are seen due to an excess of glucose in the blood stream. This is Type 1 diabetes which is seen in children, and is also known as insulin dependent diabetes. This occurs because the insulin-producing beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas are destroyed–due to this, the person does not produce sufficient amount of insulin in the body. This type of diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes as it is seen in children.

Diabetes Insipidus
This is a condition where there is a deficiency of the anti-diuretic hormone or the insensitivity of the kidneys to it. The anti-diuretic hormone is responsible for sending signals to the kidneys that they need to reabsorb as much water as possible. Thus, in cases of children suffering from diabetes insipidus, there is frequent urination. This leads to excess loss of fluids from the body, which in turn, causes excessive thirst in kids.

Dehydration is a condition where there is excess loss of fluids from the body. One of the most common causes of dehydration in children is viral infection, which leads to high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Other causes of dehydration include bacterial and parasitic infections, which can lead to excess loss of fluids in the form of diarrhea.

Other Causes
Other causes include the presence of congestive heart failure. This is essentially a weak heart that cannot pump blood and oxygen. Any kind of exertion for the child at this stage will lead to insufficient amount of blood and oxygen reaching the organs. Less volume of blood in the body, known as hypovolemia, can also lead to this symptom. If the amount of fluid that the child is taking in is not in proportion to the amount that he is urinating, then he may be suffering from a kidney disease. The kidneys have a natural filtering system, and hence, if there is any kind of disease, it can lead to excess production of very dilute urine, as the kidneys are not doing their job of retaining and reabsorbing as much water as possible. If there is a kidney disease, then other symptoms of excessive thirst will include excessive urination and possibly a burning sensation while urinating.

The treatment for this symptom will depend on the underlying cause. In case of a person suffering from diabetes mellitus, there will be a need for the child to undergo intensive diabetes treatment. Similarly, if the thirst is due to an infection, then treating the infection will help get rid of the symptom. This is a serious symptom which needs to be addressed as it may be indicative of the above listed disorders.