Lack of thirst

Hi my 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with high functioning autism in August 2017.  She has never drunk much and says she never experiences thirst.  This resulted in her being hospitalised this weekend for rehydration.  Even though my daughter is very intelligent I can't get her to believe that she needs to drink more.  Even though she ended up in hospital she had no physical shmptoms of dehydration, it was a blood test that highlighted it.  As far as my daughter is concerned no physical symptoms = not important.  Has anyone else any experience of no sensation of thirst with their ASC CHILD/adult?  Thank you.

  • I am the same as your daughter. I don't tend to feel thirst, or to realise I'm dehydrated. If things get very severe I can notice a dry mouth or headache, but that's a very rare occurrence.

    I have to force myself to remember to drink. I could easily go a day on 200ml and think nothing of it.

    I also can't drink water. I have tortured myself in the past by removing all alternatives from the house and trying to force myself to drink water, but end up drinking a couple of sips a day until things do get very severe and I'm forced to go and buy something else.

    It does scare me to think of the damage I do to my body by drinking so little, but the problem is that when you don't feel thirsty you also struggle to drink even when you try. If I already feel fine, I feel like I'm forcing drink down even if my body needs it.

    I have techniques in place to try and help. I carry a bottle around with me, rather than using a glass. This tends to help, because I can keep it with me at all times easily and it acts as a visual prompt. I still lack the motivation/physical reminder to get up and fill the bottle once it's empty, but it's a start. I also learned, a long time ago, that it's safer and healthier for me to drink things like Coke than to not drink at all, so I don't try to force myself to drink things I don't like - I'd rather be motivated by nice flavours than not motivated at all. The drinks need to be easily accessible. When you don't feel thirsty, you don't have the drive to go and get a drink. Cans are good, too, as I can keep them close to me.

    I now work somewhere with a drinks fountain available for access whenever it's wanted. Honestly, it's the best thing that's ever happened to my drinking habits. I'm in a habit of going over and making myself a little drink (around 50ml) at frequent intervals, because it's always in my line of sight.

    Over time, I imagine your daughter will start to realise the science behind hydration. For now, my only tip is to make drinks as easily accessible as possible to at least try and get around that lack of desire to drink.

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