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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 an excess amount of salt.


    Not being thirsty at times during the day is normal, if the body does not need fluid replacement. But if you have asudden change in the need for fluids, youshould visit your health care provider right away.


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

    Absence of thirst may be due to:

    • Birth defects of the brain
    • Bronchial tumor that causes syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion(SIADH)
    • Hydrocephalus
    • Injury or tumor of part of the brain called the hypothalamus
    • Stroke

    Home Care

    Follow your health care provider's recommendations.

    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:

    • When did you first notice this problem?
    • Did the absence of thirst develop suddenly or slowly?
    • Is the thirst decreased or totally absent?
    • Are you able to 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 medicines 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.

    Based on your evaluation and any tests, your health care provider will recommend treatment if needed.

    If you are dehydrated, fluidswill likelybe given through a vein (IV).


    Skorecki K, Ausiello D. Disorders of sodium and water homeostasis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 118.


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              Tests for Thirst - absent

                Review Date: 1/22/2013

                Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

                The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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                St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
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