An open sore in the stomach lining called stomach ulcer can lead to a number of symptoms – though there may be no any symptoms if your ulcer is small. The classic one is burning stomach pain that usually worsens with empty stomach (when stomach acid level increases higher). How about feeling thirsty?
Thirst is a normal body’s mechanism telling you that the body is dehydrated (running low on water) because you’re not drinking adequate fluid. For example, it’s completely normal to get thirsty after intense workouts or when it’s hot. But persistent, excessive thirst with unknown reason is abnormal and could be a sign of certain medical condition.
Abnormal thirst is not a specific sign of stomach ulcer. But sometimes the disease may make you thirsty in several ways.
Ulcers and dehydration
Depending on the severity of the disease, stomach ulcer may cause difficulty drinking as much liquid as usual, nausea, and vomiting — which make dehydration more likely! Dehydration is a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough fluid to carry out its normal tasks.
Besides thirst, dehydration signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Dry mouth.
- Dry skin.
- Not needing to pee as usual.
- Dark-colored urine.
- Feeling tired.
In children, dehydration may make them become sluggish, irritable, or cry with few /without tears.
Ulcers and anemia
As the disease progresses, it may lead to internal bleeding, vomiting blood, and passing stools with blood. If left untreated, these problems will cause anemia (a condition in which the body doesn’t have adequate red blood cells)!
Mild anemia probably won’t significantly affect your thirst. But as it gets worse, you might find yourself craving more fluid.
Depending on what causes the problem, other symptoms of anemia include:
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Shortness of breath.
- Irregular heartbeats.
- Lightheadedness (dizziness) or/and headache.
- Yellowish, pale skin.
- Cold feet and hands.
- And chest pain.
Ulcer-related thirst should be followed with other symptoms of the disease. Besides the symptoms mentioned earlier, other stomach ulcer symptoms include:
- Heartburn (acid reflux).
- Belching, bloating, or food intolerance (especially for fatty foods).
- Appetite changes.
- Unintentional weight loss.
- Difficulty breathing.
Increased thirst can be attributed by many factors. Stomach ulcer is not the only one to blame, even though when it comes with upset stomach. For examples, the following conditions may also cause persistent thirst and upset stomach:
- If you’re a diabetic, your body cannot effectively use insulin to metabolize glucose. As a result, your blood sugar level is easy to rise. High blood sugar carries a number of serious complications. It can also make you feel tired, hungry, or thirsty.
- Acute kidney failure, a condition when the kidneys suddenly fail to work. As a result, your body loses its ability to eliminate unnecessary substances (such as excess fluids, salts, or waste materials). Improper function of the kidneys can significantly affect the balance of fluid in your body.
- Gastroenteritis. It’s inflammation of stomach and intestinal lining caused by infection such as bacteria, virus, or parasites. Though it will usually heal without treatment, it can be very bothersome. The symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and headache. Gastroenteritis-related vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration if you don’t drink enough fluids throughout the day.
- Sickle cell disease, a group of diseases affecting hemoglobin (the molecule found in red blood cells that carry and distribute oxygen throughout the body). It can change your red blood cells into a ‘sickle’, shape. As a result, your red blood cells will break down more quickly (premature) and you’re at high risk of having anemia, infections, or chronic pain.
- Sometimes abnormal thirst may also be consequence of medication side effect, aspirin poisoning, iron poisoning, and excessive heat exposure.