Diabetes Insipidus

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What is Diabetes insipidus?

Diabetes Insipidus

It is one of the rare disorders that occur when a person’s kidneys pass an abnormally more amount of urine which is insipid i.e, odourless and dilute. In other words, it is an abnormal situation wherein kidneys are no longer able to control the excretion of water.

Diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus are not related but both conditions create a constant thirst and frequent urination. The blood glucose level is normal in persons with diabetes insipidus sugar, however, their kidneys could not control fluid excreted from the body. Whereas, in diabetes mellitus the blood glucose level is very high which in turn results in increased excretion. That is the difference between diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. This is because the underlying causes of both the diseases are different.

Types of Diabetes Insipidus

There are four different types of diabetes insipidus:

Central Diabetes Insipidus

This condition is caused by damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

This condition is caused by different factors, kidney diseases, high levels of calcium, urinary tract blockage or low potassium levels in the body.

Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus

This condition is caused by the dysfunction of the thirst mechanism in the hypothalamus.

Gestational Diabetes Insipidus

This condition is caused during pregnancy especially when the mother’s ADH are destroyed by the enzymes of the placenta

Causes of Diabetes Insipidus

Our kidney functions by filtering the blood multiple times. Only a little amount of concentrated urine is released and most of the water is reabsorbed. Diabetes insipidus happens when the kidneys are not able to concentrate the urine appropriately due to which a lot of dilute urine is excreted.

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) controls the amount of water that is excreted in the urine. ADH is also known as vasopressin. It is made in the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. Then it is stored and secreted by the pituitary gland which lies just beneath the base of the brain.

Diabetes Insipidus that is occurred by the lack of ADH is known as central diabetes insipidus. When Diabetes Insipidus occurred due to the failure of kidneys to respond to ADH, this particular condition is known as nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

Treatment for Diabetes Insipidus

  • The Central DI could be controlled by vasopressin through injection, tablets or nasal spray.
  • In nephrogenic, Diabetes Insipidus is occurred by medicine, restoring normal function of kidneys could be helped by stopping the medicines.
  • Hereditary nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus could be treated by drinking sufficient fluids to match the urine that is released.
  • Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus is treated with diuretics (water pills) and anti-inflammatory medicines.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Diabetes Insipidus


What is diabetes insipidus?

Diabetes insipidus is a disease characterised by the increased secretion of urine from the body. The reabsorption of water in the distal convoluted tubule is absent or less.


What causes diabetes insipidus?

Diabetes insipidus is caused by defects in the secretion of ADH [Anti-dieuretic hormone].


What are the types of diabetes insipidus?

Central Diabetes Insipidus, Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus, Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus and Gestational Diabetes Insipidus are the types of diabetes insipidus.


What are the symptoms of diabetes insipidus?

Increased thirst and increased excretion of urine are the symptoms of diabetes insipidus.


How is diabetes insipidus treated?

Diabetes insipidus is treated by giving ADH through injection, tablets or nasal spray.

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