Why are diabetics so thirsty?

+74 votes
asked Mar 22, 2015 in Health & Wellness by lyndaia (550 points)
I know it’s common to be thirsty, but why is it this extreme? I feel like I’m drinking cotton. I’ve tried drinking water and diet soda.

1 Answer

+21 votes
answered Mar 29, 2015 by curshelle (710 points)

In short, your glucose levels are likely too high. Having high blood sugar makes you feel thirsty.

But why does having high blood sugar make you thirsty? That’s a little more complicated.

Type II diabetes happens when your body becomes resistant to insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas. Insulin acts as a messenger that brings food into your cells. Without insulin, glucose won’t do anything for your cells. When you have Type II Diabetes, your body is still creating insulin, at least initially, but it’s not as effective as it should be.

When your cells can’t take in the glucose, it remains in the blood stream. When glucose is very condensed in the bloodstream, your kidneys lose the ability to draw glucose from water. Normally, nearly all the glucose is pulled out of urine and returned to the body (as is most of the water, depending on your hydration levels). Since your body is no longer able to separate glucose from water in your kidneys, the osmotic pressure builds. Osmotic pressure is the pressure that forms between a liquid with a high solute concentration and a liquid with a lower concentration. The osmotic pressure builds to the point that water can no longer absorb back into your bloodstream, and instead is removed from the bloodstream entirely. Eventually, all the excess glucose will be passed through the urinary tract.  However, the sugar cannot remain in the kidneys either, so the kidneys pull water from the rest of the body to remove the sugar. The result is more urination, which in turn causes dehydration as increased amounts of water are eliminated from the body. If you don’t get this problem fixed, the excess water is just going to go through the urinary tract all over again and you will remain dehydrated.



commented Mar 30, 2015 by Nena (650 points)
This is the best answer I've found on the internet. Now I know why why are diabetics so thirsty
Welcome to Instant Answer, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community.