What Is Thirst?
I can safely say there isn’t one single, healthy human being on this planet who hasn’t experienced thirst at some or other stage of their life. We know thirst as that dry, annoying and sometimes desperate feeling in our throats, mouths and bodies that alerts us to the fact that we need to drink something. That “something” is usually water – which is what quenches our thirst the best.
But, what makes us thirsty?
Science tells us thirst can be attributed to four major influencers:
Cellular dehydration acts via an osmoreceptor mechanism in the hypothalamus.
Plain English – our cells in our body are shrivelling up from insufficient water intake. Our brains tell us we need to drink water.
Low volume is sensed via the low pressure baroreceptors in the great veins and right atrium.
Plain English – our hearts and veins pick up a drop in pressure caused by dehydration.
The high pressure baroreceptors in carotid sinus & aorta provide the sensors for this input.
Plain English – Our hearts are already under pressure to pump oxygenated blood – and with “low blood pressure” they send a message to our brains telling us to increase our water intake.
This is produced consequent to the release of renin by the kidney (eg in response to renal hypotension)
Plain English – when our kidneys come under fire, due to being under strain in filtering out toxins or simply not having sufficient water available to assist filtration, a hormone is secreted into our blood triggering the thirst mechanism.
Thirst Is Science In Action
Thirst is one of the most primitive and easily remedied functions our bodies are capable of inducing. Thirst isn’t a response to external stimuli, as sometimes hunger can be, but is rather a message from pretty much anywhere in our bodies which may be in need of water. It’s vital to remember, though, that when we sense thirst – we are already dehydrated, so try not to let it get to the point of being parched, but rather keep hydrated throughout the day to avoid feeling “not-so-great”.
Information sourced from anaestehsiamcq.com