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Thirst - absent

Adipsia; Lack of thirst; Absence of thirst

Absence of thirst is a lack of the urge to drink fluids, even when the body is low on water or has too much salt.

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Considerations

Not being thirsty at times during the day is normal, if the body does not need more fluid. But if you have a sudden change in the need for fluids, you should see your health care provider right away.

Causes

As people age, they are less likely to notice their thirst. Therefore, they may not drink fluids when needed.

Absence of thirst may be due to:

Home Care

Follow your provider's recommendations.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you notice any abnormal lack of thirst.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will take a medical history and perform a physical exam.

You may be asked questions such as:

The provider will do a detailed nervous system exam if a head injury or problem with the hypothalamus is suspected. Tests may be needed, depending on the results of your exam.

Your provider will recommend treatment if needed.

If you are dehydrated, fluids will likely be given through a vein (IV).

References

Koeppen BM, Stanton BA, Regulation of body fluid osmolality: regulation of water balance. In: Koeppen BM, Stanton BA, eds. Renal Physiology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 5.

Slotki I, Skorecki K. Disorders of sodium and water homeostasis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 116.

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Review Date: 1/19/2019  

Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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