Diabetes insipidus

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Topic Title: Diabetes insipidus
Created On: 04/22/2015 11:32 AM

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 04/22/2015 11:32 AM

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Fast facts on diabetes insipidus

Here are some key points about diabetes insipidus. 

  • Diabetes insipidus can be caused by low or absent secretion of the water-balance hormone vasopressin from the pituitary gland of the brain, or by a poor kidney response to this chemical messenger, which is also called antidiuretic hormone.
  • The problem results in high output of dilute urine, which is accompanied by increased thirst and high water intake.
  • If higher intake of water is restricted - for example, because the patient cannot communicate their thirst or help themselves - the condition can result in dangerous dehydration.
  • Some medical conditions resemble diabetes insipidus but are not the same diagnosis. For example, diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2 also result in high urine output if undiagnosed or left poorly managed. Some drugs can also create the symptoms of diabetes insipidus.
  • Diagnosis is usually a process of excluding common possible explanations for the symptoms and if true diabetes insipidus remains strongly suspected, a water deprivation test may be carried out by specialists.
  • The water deprivation test must be done in the safety of close medical supervision because of the risks of dehydration. It is highly reliable in making a firm diagnosis and can distinguish central DI from nephrogenic DI.
  • Treatment depends on the type of diabetes insipidus.
  • If the cause is central (low or absent hormone secretion), hormone replacement is achieved with the drug desmopressin. In mild cases, increasing water intake can be sufficient treatment.
  • If the cause is nephrogenic (renal disease, in which the kidneys fail to respond to the hormone sufficiently), then treatment is aimed at the kidney condition.
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