Thirst - absent
Absence of thirst is a lack of the urge to drink fluids.
Adipsia; Lack of thirst; Absence of thirst
Not being thirsty at various times during the day is normal, if the body does not need fluid replacement. However, a quick change in the need for fluids should prompt a visit to your doctor.
Follow your health care provider's recommendations. Drink enough fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty (6 - 8 glasses each day may be advised).
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you notice any abnormal lack of thirst.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination.
Medical history questions may include the following:
- When did you first notice this problem?
- Did the absence of thirst develop suddenly or slowly?
- Is the thirst decreased or totally absent?
- Can you drink fluids?
- Did the loss of thirst follow a head injury?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Do you have abdominal pain?
- Do you have headaches?
- Do you have difficulty swallowing?
- Do you suddenly dislike drinking fluids?
- Do you have difficulty breathing?
- Do you have a cough?
- Do you have any changes in appetite?
- Do you urinate less than usual?
- Do you have any changes in skin color?
- What medications are you taking?
The physical examination may include a detailed nervous system examination if the health care provider suspects a head injury or problem with the hypothalamus. Diagnostic tests will vary depending on the history and physical examination findings.
Necessary fluids may be given through a vein (IV).
Robinson AG, Verbalis JG. Posterior pituitary. In: Kronenberg HM, Shlomo M, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2008:chap 9.
Oh MS. Evaluation of renal function, water, electrolytes and acid-base balance. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2006:chap 14.
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.