Extracellular thirst is defined as thirst caused by a reduction in the volume of fluids found between body cells.

In psychology, extracellular thirst refers to a type of thirst that is caused by a deficit of fluid outside of the body's cells. This type of thirst is also known as osmotic thirst and is driven by changes in the concentration of solutes in the body's extracellular fluid.

Here are some examples of situations that can trigger extracellular thirst:

  1. Eating salty foods: When we consume foods that are high in sodium, the concentration of salt in our extracellular fluid increases. This triggers the release of hormones that stimulate the thirst center in the brain, leading to the sensation of thirst.

  2. Sweating: When we sweat, we lose fluid from our extracellular fluid compartments. This can lead to an increase in the concentration of solutes in the extracellular fluid, triggering the sensation of thirst.

  3. Dehydration: When we do not consume enough fluid, the concentration of solutes in our extracellular fluid increases. This can lead to the sensation of thirst as the body attempts to restore balance to the system.

  4. Diuretic use: Diuretics are medications that increase urine output. This can lead to a decrease in fluid volume in the extracellular fluid compartments, triggering the sensation of thirst.

  5. Kidney dysfunction: If the kidneys are not functioning properly, they may not be able to regulate the concentration of solutes in the extracellular fluid. This can lead to the sensation of thirst as the body attempts to restore balance to the system.

Overall, extracellular thirst is an important mechanism that helps to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It is one of several types of thirst that can be triggered by different physiological and environmental factors.

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