Diabetes Insipidus Causes and Treatment

Diabetes insipidus causes

Find out everything you need to know about diabetes insipidus causes and treatment from www.BetterHealthKare.com

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes insipidus, you may be concerned that you will face a lifetime of blood glucose tests and insulin shots.  Actually, diabetes insipidus is a rare disorder that is not related to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and has nothing to do with blood glucose levels, insulin, or your pancreas. People who have diabetes insipidus still have normal insulin function and blood glucose levels, but their bodies are unable to regulate fluid levels. There is no cure for this disorder, but finding out about more about diabetes insipidus causes and treatment will help you manage your symptoms better.

Diabetes insipidus definition

Diabetes insipidus occurs when your kidneys pass an exceptionally large volume of ‘insipid’ urine (highly diluted, clear, and odorless). Normally, fluid levels in your body are balanced. Your intake of fluid is regulated by thirst and the excretion of fluids through the kidneys (as urine) is controlled by hormones. These bodily functions are controlled by the release of vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH).

Vasopressin is released when you become dehydrated, causing the kidneys to absorb less fluid from your bloodstream and decreasing the amount of urine you excrete. If you have extra fluid, vasopressin production decreases so your kidneys excrete more fluid from your body. When this system is disrupted, your body can excrete enormous levels of fluid from your body, creating the condition known as diabetes insipidus.

Diabetes Insipidus Causes

There are actually four types of diabetes insipidus, and each has its own cause. Knowledge of the four types of diabetes insipidus, causes, and effects, may help you understand what is happening in your body:

  • Central diabetes insipidus can be caused by damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary organ that disrupts your body’s ability to produce, store, and release vasopressin. In some cases the cause may be unknown, but the typical cause is damage inflicted by a tumor, surgery, infection, inflammation, or head injury. In rare cases, central diabetes insipidus in children may be caused by an inherited genetic disorder.
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus occurs when a defect in the kidney tubules prevents them from responding to vasopressin so they continue to remove large amounts of fluid. Causes are sometimes unknown, but the most common nephrogenic diabetes insipidus causes include an inherited genetic disorder, chronic kidney disease, or taking some medications, specifically lithium and certain antivirals.
  • Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus also known as primary polydipsia or psychogenic polydipsia, is a condition caused by damage to the thirst mechanism. People with this condition become excessively thirst and drink abnormally large amounts of liquid, which suppresses vasopressin secretion and increases urine output. Causes include certain mental conditions or medications.
  • Gestational diabetes insipidus can rarely occur during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes insipidus causes can be traced to an enzyme manufactured by the placenta that can destroy the mother’s vasopressin, or the overproduction of prostaglandin, a chemical that reduces kidney sensitivity to vasopressin. The mother’s body tends to return to normal once the child is delivered.

Diabetes insipidus signs and symptoms

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the most common diabetes insipidus signs and symptoms include extreme thirst and excessive excretion of diluted urine. Output of urine may be as high as 16 quarts a day, an incredible difference compared to typical healthy levels of urine output, which are less than 3 quarts a day. This immense output (also known as polyuria) may cause bed-wetting or nocturia, the need to get up frequently during the night to urinate. Infants and children may have additional symptoms of fussiness, unexplained crying, fever, vomiting, and weight loss.

Diabetes insipidus treatment

There is no cure for diabetes insipidus, but there are treatments that will control the symptoms. The main diabetes insipidus treatment involves drinking sufficient liquid to prevent dehydration. Options to control the symptoms of extreme thirst and frequent urination depend on the specific type of diabetes insipidus involved.  Symptoms of central diabetes insipidus can be treated with a synthetic hormone; nephrogenic can be resolved by balancing calcium and potassium or taking diuretics. There is no treatment for dipsogenic diabetes, but gestational diabetes insipidus can be helped by a prescription of desmopressin.

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