Can anxiety make you thirsty

Can anxiety make you thirsty?

Anxiety does not only affect your emotions but also your body. One of the effects of anxiety may be hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) which manifests with excessive thirst.

Can anxiety make you thirstyWhen you suffer from anxiety your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol in response to your body’s fight or flight mechanism. The purpose of these stress hormones is to prepare you for action. To be active you need more blood, more oxygen and more energy supplied to the major muscles in your body. This is the reason why your heart beat and your breathing speeds up, but your body also releases glucose into your bloodstream to provide your body with the energy it needs to fight of the “enemy” or run away from it. If these stress hormones are not used up through physical activity it may lead to a constant increase of glucose in your blood which is called hyperglycemia.

You have probably heard that diabetics also experience excessive thirst and it is for the same reason. Their blood glucose levels are too high. Because excessive thirst can be a symptom of a more serious latent illness, it is best to have your physician investigate the reason behind your excessive thirst.

Other symptoms of anxiety that may be to blame for your excessive thirst is the excessive sweating and the gastrointestinal discomfort, either in the form of vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms can lead to dehydration which will necessarily mean that you will be craving more water than usual. Dehydration occurs when you lose more water than you consume and it may be worse on hot days or after exercise.

You can of course try to treat the symptoms of anxiety, but until you treat the cause, these symptoms will only reoccur. Anxiety does not have to be managed it can be cured. Permanently.

Psychotherapy and especially cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT has been proven to be very effective in the treatment of anxiety. It will teach you better stress management skills and may help you to view stressful circumstances differently. If you combine psychotherapy with relaxation techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation exercise you may improve the outcome even more.

From this article it is also plain to see what the most logical treatment for hyperglycemic thirst is. If stress hormones prepare you for increased activity then the best way to get rid of these hormones is to be more active. This way you will not only be ridding your body of the stress hormones but you will also be using up the excess glucose in your bloodstream. If you exercise on a hot day you should however remember to stay adequately hydrated, since dehydration can cause and worsen anxiety symptoms.

You should know whether excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhea is anxiety associated symptoms you suffer from. This should be a good indication of whether you might be dehydrated or not. It is easy to treat dehydration. Simply drink more water, semi-skimmed milk, diluted squash or fruit juice, but stay away from caffeinated drinks such as coffee or sodas as well as alcohol. These fluids act as diuretics depriving your body even more of its much needed water.

Anxiety does not have to steal your joy of living or your freedom. With the right treatment and some additional help like the advice mentioned above you will soon be feeling like your old self again.


“Hypoglycemia (Diabetic) & Hyperglycemia.” Health Central. [No date] (November 22, 2012)

“How worrying affects the body.” WebMD. [No date] (November 22, 2012)

“Generalized anxiety disorder.”  NHS Choices. 2012. (November 22, 2012)

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