It's normal for babies and children, especially toddlers, to drink a lot and pass lots of urine (wee). This is called habitual drinking. But excessive thirst and increased urination in babies, children and teenagers can be a sign of diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus.
Diabetes mellitus, often just called diabetes, is not associated with having a brain tumour. It can be checked for by a doctor with a simple finger prick test.
If this test is normal, it may indicate that the excessive thirst is a symptom of diabetes insipidus.
In diabetes insipidus, the body can't concentrate the urine enough and so it passes too much water. This is usually caused by a disturbance of the hormones released by the pituitary gland, a part of the brain. Sometimes, this disturbance can be caused by a brain tumour. But it's important to note that diabetes insipidus is rare.
Babies and young children will be unable to tell you that they're excessively thirsty. In this case, signs and symptoms to watch out for include:
Children and teenagers with diabetes insipidus will have:
If excessive thirst is caused by a brain tumour, other symptoms will often be present, in particular:
You should look out for these symptoms carefully.
If your baby, child or teenager has increased thirst and urination, they should be seen urgently by a doctor to check whether this symptom is being caused by diabetes and, if so, what is causing the diabetes.
If symptoms appear suddenly or are severe, take your child to A&E or phone 999.
If you're a teenager and you're worried about increased thirst and urination (weeing), it's best to talk to your GP as soon as possible.
Brain tumours are rare, however, if you're worried, if a symptom persists or if your child has more than one of these symptoms then: