Endocrine Diseases

Diabetes Insipidus


  • Diabetes insipidus is an uncommon disorder where you pee a lot and often feel thirsty.
  • It occurs when the body does not produce enough of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or use it effectively.
  • Diabetes insipidus is not related to diabetes, but it does share some of the same signs and symptoms.
  • There is no cure for diabetes insipidus, but its symptoms can be controlled and complications be prevented. 
  • Currently, the disease cannot be prevented, however patients can live with it by following the doctor recommendations. 
Diabetes insipidus is a rare hormonal disorder and is given this name because its symptoms are similar to those of diabetes, but is not associated with it. The main difference between the two is that in the diabetes insipidus urine is larger in volume and less concentrated. Diabetes insipidus affects children but adults are more susceptible to it. 

Other Names:
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

Types of Diabetes Insipidus:
  • Central diabetes insipidus (most common): It is caused by an abnormality in the pituitary gland, which disrupts normal production of the hormone responsible for regulating the administration of urine, storage and release.
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus: It is caused by a defect in the kidney, making it unable to properly respond to ADH (anti-diuretic hormone).
  • Gestational diabetes insipidus: It is a rare type, which occurs during pregnancy when an enzyme made by the placenta destroys ADH in the mother.

Diabetes Insipidus is caused by a lack of the hormone vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone) or sensitivity to it. The hormone is secreted from the pituitary gland, plays a major role in regulating the amount of fluid in the body, and controls the diuresis. Other causes of the diabetes insipidus include genetic defect, acquired causes and unknown causes in some cases. 

Risk Factors:
  • Infection.
  • Brain tumors. 
  • Encephalitis.
  • Head injury. 
  • Some medications such as Bipolar disorder medications.  

Main symptoms of diabetes insipidus include:
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Producing large amounts of diluted urine.
  • The need to get up to urinate during the night.
In addition to previous signs and symptoms, infants and children may suffer from:
  • Crying without reason.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea. 
  • Delayed growth.
  • Weight loss.
When to See a Doctor?
See your doctor when feeling thirsty all the time or severe dehydration. Although these symptoms may not indicate the occurrence of diabetes insipidus, it should be checked.

  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Nausea.

  • Physical examination to observe the symptoms.
  • Medical and family history.
  • Lab tests: urine analysis, sodium blood test specially sodium and chloride. 
  • Other tests: water deprivation test under medical supervision, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI of the brain.

  • Drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration. 
  • Medications to relieve the feeling of thirst, and make urination at normal rates.

The disease cannot be prevented at present, but most patients live a normal life by following the doctor's recommendations and controlling the symptoms and signs of the disease.

  • Diabetes insipidus may not require treatment.
    • Fact: Diabetes insipidus requires treatment, which includes always compensating your body with adequate fluids, measuring sodium rate and taking medications prescribed by your doctor.  

Last Update : 20 September 2020 11:02 AM
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