January 2, 2007
Question from Ft. Worth, Texas, USA:
I've had type 1 for a little over five years. The highest my A1c has ever been is 6.9. My last one was 6.1. I am constantly thirsty, just like before I was diagnosed. Is this common for other diabetics? I usually consume about 15 to 20 bottles of water a day.
The reason that increased thirst is tied to the symptoms of diabetes and increased blood sugars is that the body usually loses a lot of fluid due to increased urination. The increased thirst is a compensatory mechanism by the body to restore effective circulating fluid volumes. If sugars are not high enough to cause a marked diuresis, it is unlikely the increased thirst is caused by the diabetes. Increased physical activity with sweating, habitual increase in fluid intake, and dry mouth from some medications may some reasons why you may drink more but are not related to diabetes. Make sure you discuss this with your physician.