Excessive Thirst (Trishna)
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Introduction

 

Water is one of the basic needs of all living beings, and thirst is the natural mechanism through which the organism comes to know that it needs water. All of us are very well acquainted with the feeling of thirst and the immense relief when a cool refreshing drink of water passes through a parched throat. Feeling thirsty and then getting quenched is one of the key factors indicating that we are alive.

However, in some people, due to some reason, there is an excessive feeling of thirst. These people may feel thirsty just minutes after having a drink. Such an intense feeling of thirst without any apparent reason for the same is called as polydipsia or excessive thirst.

Description of Excessive Thirst (Trishna)

 

In very simple words, thirst is defined as a craving or desire to drink something. This is indicated by dryness in the throat and the mouth. This signal indicates that the body system is in need of some fluid. An excessively dry throat is called as a parched throat, and the act of drinking some fluid is called as quenching the thirst.

Feeling thirsty is a very normal human indication and is in fact the body’s way of letting us know that we need to drink something. There are times when the human body feels thirstier than other times. For example:-

  • In the summer days
  • When the weather is quite dry
  • After some strenuous bodily work or exercise
  • When in a state of mental stress
  • After a heavy meal

However, in some people, there is a feeling of thirst quite excessively. There seems to be no reason for feeling thirsty in that particular situation. Like, a person with excessive thirst will feel thirsty within a few minutes of having a glassful of water. Such a situation is what is termed as excessive thirst.

Many people with excessive thirst do feel thirsty quite frequently according to the definition of the problem, but they do not make any intentional effort to drink the fluid offered to them. They may take just a sip or two before putting the glass down. This would make them feel thirst again after a short while, when they will repeat their ‘drinking a few sips at a time’ routine. Thus, in people with excessive thirst, there is something wrong with the body’s routine of thirst management.

In Sanskrit, trishna literally means ‘thirst’. This term is applied to the normally felt thirst. However, even in the case of excessive thirst too, the term trishna is used.

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Causes of Excessive Thirst (Trishna)

Clinically, there are several reasons that may cause excessive thirst in people. The following are the most important of these causes:-

Diabetes insipidus is a form of diabetes in which there is a deficiency of vasopressin in the body. Vasopressin is an antidiuretic hormone, which controls the amount of fluids that are secreted by the kidney. The kidneys are responsible for filtration of the toxins from the body. This is done within the nephrons of the kidney. In the first stage of excretion, i.e. ultra filtration, several important body fluids are also filtered out from the blood. Vasopressin is responsible for the selective reabsorption of these vital fluids back into the blood. However in people with vasopressin deficiency, these fluids are voided out from the system. This happens in people with diabetes insipidus. Hence, people with diabetes insipidus feel thirst quite excessively due to the loss of copious amounts of fluid from their body.

Even people with diabetes mellitus can feel excessive thirst. Diabetes mellitus is a disorder where there is a deficiency of insulin in the person. As a result the sugars are not completely utilized and they remain within the blood. Sugar absorbs the fluids from the cells of the person, which causes the person to feel thirsty again and again.

Excessive thirst can be also felt due to environmental conditions such as very hot weather and dryness of the climate. This type of thirst is generally corrected by having a couple of glassfuls of water.

Sometimes, there is a feeling of excessive thirst after a heavy meal. Too many oily and spicy foods can cause this feeling. This is because the body fluids are used up in the digestion of the food and the body requires more amounts of fluids.

As with all other ailments, Ayurveda treats trishna too according to the tridosha principles. The tridosha or the three doshas are the factors that govern the human body. The doshas are also called as the humors. The three doshas in Ayurveda are vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha. These three doshas represent the following governing elements:-

  • Vata dosha is the air element. It governs the atmospheric content within the body.
  • Pitta dosha is the fire element. It governs the digestive aspects of the human body.
  • Kapha dosha is a combination of the earth and water elements. This represents the coordination of the interiors of the human body with its external surroundings, i.e. the earth.

Trishna is caused when either the vata dosha or the pitta dosha is above normal values. Vatadosha is known to increase with emotions such as fear or anger, and with strenuous physical work, loss of bodily stamina and nervous excitement. Pitta dosha is known to increase with heavy food, fasting and other abnormalities with the dietary regimen. These are the very factors that even medical science holds responsible for the feeling of excessive thirst.

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Symptoms of Excessive Thirst (Trishna)

The most prominent symptom of excessive thirst is a repeated feeling of dryness in the throat. Continued parched throat can lead to dizziness and giddiness. The symptoms disappear when the thirst is quenched.

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Diet for Preventing Excessive Thirst (Trishna)

The following is a diet that can help to allay the repeated feelings of thirst in people with polydipsia:-

  • Milk is one of the best treatments for excessive thirst. But the milk must be had when it is freshly milked from the cow.
  • Leaves of fruits like mangos and Indian plums (jamuns) are good in allaying recurrent thirst. The extracts of the leaves must be mixed with raw sugar and taken in an amount of not more than a few milliliters per day.
  • Turmeric mixed with sugar and honey is also beneficial.
  • Coriander seeds mixed with equal parts of amalaki, dried sunthi and dried grapes are very useful in removing the repeated feelings of thirst.

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Ayurvedic Treatment for Excessive Thirst (Trishna)

Several herbs in Ayurveda have potency for curing the symptoms of trishna. The following is a list of these herbs.

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Aam (leaves)

Mangifera indica

Adraka or Sunthi

Zingiber officinalis

Ginger

Amalaki (fruits)

Emblica officinalis

Indian Gooseberry

Haldi

Curcuma longa

Turmeric

Hara dhania (seeds)

Coriandrum sativum

Coriander

Imli (Syrup of ripe fruit)

Tamarindus indica

Tamarind

Jamun (leaves)

Syzgium cumini

Jambola or Indian Plum

The following Ayurvedic preparations are quite beneficial in reducing excessive thirst, but they must be taken under the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician:-

  • Jambeera
  • Panakam
  • Gudoochi sattva
  • Amalaki rasayana
  • Pravala pishti.

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Post Your Comments

Comment Script

Comments

The causes ans symptoms are very clearly explained the home remedies are also very useful
thankyou
#1 - Benedicta - 09/09/2009 - 10:42
No tests ever show that I am diabetic and yet I have extreme thirst, mostly at night, but sometimes in the daytime also.
#2 - RitaARamsey - 11/10/2009 - 16:13
Me too! No tests show any sign of diabetes and the Dr keeps telling me the thirst is in my head! It's so hard to stop though because I'm such a what if person... and will keep telling myself the Doctors are wrong!
#3 - Bec - 01/01/2012 - 04:17
Hello! I am having the same problem! I am so so thirsty especially at night. The test for diabetis were negative. And a doctor said it might be psychological. However I went and get my hair done and the hair stylist said my hair were really dry compared to usual, and I did not mention a word to him about my continous thirst prior to his comment. My skin is also very dry and I never had that problem before. I also look pale and friends confirmed. Unless they all have psychological issues, then no, I think something is off!!!
#4 - D! - 01/02/2012 - 15:50
I am also having the same problem.I feel thirsty at night.Sometimes I feel thirsty only on waking up in the morning. Test for diabtese ,thyroid ,lipid profile etc is normal.But my TMT tread mill test is positive.My skin is becoming dry.Could this be due to adulterated milk &chemicals used in the fruits &vegetables.
#5 - sangeeta singh - 02/01/2012 - 05:12
i am feeling very thirsty all the time... it is happening to me for about 2 minths... and also suffering from excessive urination. my sugar test and thyroid tests are negative... but some times my low heamoglobin is confirmed by tests.. i am non smokes and not taking any any kind of chemicals and drugs.. even doctors are not able to understand what is happening to me... what should i do..?
#6 - bharti - 05/02/2012 - 06:51
this is really a good article regarding trushna, and have tried some nice way of explaining ayurvedic principles to a common man, like exersional thirst to vathika and hiper acidic to paithika etc which is very true. if the pathological basis and the treatment principles with their chemical constituents adn way of acting is added it can be a real great article. thank u
#7 - hari - 02/21/2013 - 10:21
IT WORKED! THANKS YOU..I MIXED A BIT OF SMASHED FINGER WD A SWEET HONEY TASTE WATER! AND TAKE A GULP! it worked! super ^^
#8 - tenzin - 03/17/2013 - 18:42
thanks..a lot for this.
#9 - betz - 04/03/2013 - 23:43
I m jz 20 n m suffeeing wd ds since 2 3 years ...it worsens at night m nt able to study n i cnt sleep bcz of ds thrist plz hlp.all reports r normal... I hv a gud lif style too... Still.. :-/ X-( X-(
#10 - vaishali - 05/02/2013 - 11:32
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