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Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes insipidus is an uncommon disorder that causes unbalance of fluid which makes an individual produce a large amount of urine.

Causes of Diabetes insipidus

  • Diabetes insipidus is caused by problems with a chemical called vasopressin (AVP), this
  • AVP is produced by the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary gland until needed.
  • How AVP works are that it regulates the level of water in your body by controlling the amount of urine your kidneys produce.
  • When the level of water in your body decreases, your pituitary gland releases AVP to conserve water and stop the production of urine.
  • But in the case of diabetes insipidus, AVP fails to properly regulate the body’s level of water, and so allows too much urine to be produced and passed from your body.

Types of Diabetes insipidus

  1. Cranial diabetes insipidus : in cranial diabetes, the body does not produce enough AVP, so because of that excessive amounts of water are lost in large amounts of urine. It can be caused by a brain tumor, severe head injury, or complications from brain surgery. Sometimes the cause is unknown it appears to be related to the immune system attacking the normal healthy cells producing AVP.
  2. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus –it occurs where AVP is produced at the right levels, but, for some reason, the kidneys do not respond to it in the right way. Nephrogenic diabetes can be gotten from birth or can occur later in the life of an individual.
  3. Gestational Diabetes Insipidus: This occurs in pregnant women men. An enzyme made by the placenta destroys the hormone vasopressin. This leads to uncontrolled production of urine by the kidneys and excessive loss of fluids from the mother’s body.
  4. Psychogenic Polydipsia: It is a condition that is not caused to the deficiency in the production of vasopressin. But, it is mainly caused due to abnormal thirst, associated with any psychological illness.

Signs and symptoms in infant and older children

  • excessive crying
  • irritability
  • slower than expected growth
  • high body temperature
  • unexplained weight loss
  • wetting the bed: most times, not all children who wet the bed have diabetes insipidus
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling tired all the time

Risk factors

  • Males
  • People with a family history of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus
  • Excessive consumption of water
  • Pregnant women
  • Drugs like phenothiazine
  • Sickle cell
  • Head tumor
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Genetics
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Pituitary disorders
  • Malnutrition


  • Water deprivation test: A water deprivation test involves not drinking any liquid for several hours to see how your body responds.
  • Vasopressin test: After the water deprivation test has been done the patient will be given a small dose of AVP, usually as an injection. If the patient continues to pee despite the dose of AVP, this means there’s already enough AVP in the body, but the kidneys are not responding to as a result of that the patient will be diagnosed with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
  • MRI scan: An MRI is a type of scan that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce images of the inside of the body, including the brain.
  • Genetic Screening. People with family problems relating to excess urination are to go for genetic Screening.


  • Fluid replacement: Most patients with diabetes insipidus (DI) can drink enough fluid to replace the loss of urine.
  • Desmopressin and other drugs: In patients with central Diabetes Mellitus, desmopressin is the drug of choice.
  • Monitor for fluid retention and hyponatremia during initial therapy.
  • Dietary measures: An adequate and balanced intake of salt and water. A low-protein, low-sodium diet can help to decrease urine output.
  • Treatment of underlying diseases like chronic kidney disease or psychological illness is essential to treat diabetes insipidus associated with such conditions.


There are mainly two complications of diabetes insipidus are dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.

Dehydration: If a patient has diabetes insipidus, the body will find it difficult to retain enough water, even if the patient drinks fluid constantly, and this results in dehydration. t’s important to look out for the signs and symptoms of dehydration on a patient know to have diabetes insipidus

Electrolyte imbalance: Electrolytes are minerals in the blood that have a tiny electric charge, such as sodium, calcium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, and bicarbonate.

Prevention of Diabetes Insipidus:

There is no specific way to prevent diabetes insipidus. But, some preventive measures help to avoid the serious complications of the disease. They are:

  • Constant monitoring of the urine output, if the patient has underlying brain tumors or kidney diseases
  • Regular self-monitoring to check for the signs of dehydration
  • Daily intake of a low-salt diet
  • Regular physical activity or yoga to maintain the overall health

When to see a doctor

Consult appropriate medical care if there is a family history of Diabetes insipidus and an inherited form is suspected.



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