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How Body Mistakes Hunger for Thirst

author image Carole Anne Tomlinson
Carole Anne Tomlinson is a registered nurse with experience in rehabilitation, nutrition, chemical dependency, diabetes and health problems related to the elderly. Tomlinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and is presently working on her master's degree in nursing. Her screenplays have been viewed by Merchant Ivory, Angela Lansbury and Steven King's associates.
How Body Mistakes Hunger for Thirst
Dehydration can cause feelings of hunger. Photo Credit: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

Thirst occurs when your body needs water. When you do not drink enough water, your body receives mixed signals on hunger. Dehydration causes you to believe you need to eat when you really need liquid intake. Sometimes you eat food out of boredom. Keeping track of what you drink and eat will help stop overeating. It will also clue in to how much you drink a day, and what your liquid needs are.

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Dehydration Symptoms

Dehydration symptoms include constipation, thirst, dry skin, a sluggish feeling, dizziness, dry eyes and decreased urine output. Drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day will help prevent dehydration. If you have these symptoms, seek medical help. Symptoms of diabetes include dehydration.

Feeling Tired

If you do not get enough to drink on a daily basis, you will feel tired. You will feel hungry because your body thinks it needs food for energy. This sense of feeling tired relates to your body not taking in enough fluids, which help your body function better. Your body’s organs need water just as a car’s engine needs fuel to run efficiently.


Water, a neutral liquid, easily can quench thirst. Water helps you feel better and helps your body function normally, Weight say. You will eat less when you have adequate hydration. Caffeinated drinks, such as soft drinks, contain additives and interfere with your body’s ability to rid itself of toxins. Most drinks advertise the ability to act as anti-toxins. The best anti-toxin is water because it helps flush toxins naturally out of your body.


Signs of diabetes include feeling hungry and thirsty, the American Diabetes Association, or ADA, says. If your blood sugar fluctuates and is not within normal values, you might have mixed signals of hunger and thirst. You will become dehydrated if your blood sugar remains high, and you will crave food. You will urinate less as you become more dehydrated with high blood sugar. As your blood sugar drops, you will urinate more. It becomes a vicious cycle not knowing if you should eat or drink fluids. Your doctor needs these symptoms reported to him.

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