Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes Insipidus Definition

Diabetes insipidus, also known as DI, can be defined as a disease in which the secretion of or response to the pituitary hormone vasopressin is impaired, resulting in the loss of too many quantities of dilute urine often with dehydration and insatiable thirst. It is a disorder of salt and water metabolism noticeable by intense thirst and heavy urination. Diabetes insipidus takes place when the body cannot regulate how it handles fluids. This is not related to diabetes; the condition of diabetes insipidus is caused by a hormonal abnormality. Diabetes insipidus causes excessive thirst, water-electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, fatigue, or malaise. 

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Diabetes Insipidus Causes

Damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus from surgery, a tumour, a head injury, an illness or an inherited genetic disease can cause central diabetes insipidus by affecting the usual production, storage and release of ADH. Diabetes insipidus causes a significant risk of dangerous dehydration as well as a range of other illnesses and conditions. A chemical called vasopressin(AVP), which is also known as antidiuretic hormone(ADH) for which diabetes insipidus causes. Arginine vasopressin is produced by the hypothalamus and is stored in the pituitary gland until needed. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure in the US.         

Diabetes Insipidus Symptoms

It is one of the rare disorders that develop when kidneys of a person go by an abnormally more amount of urine which is insipid(odourless and dilute). In the case of whole-body, the person may experience excessive thirst, water-electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, fatigue, or malaise. In the case of urinary, the person may have excessive urination, frequent urination, or even bedwetting. Apart from all these, headaches or weight loss is also frequent as diabetes insipidus symptoms.

Types of Diabetes Insipidus 

There are four types of diabetes insipidus, but the two main types of diabetes insipidus are as follows:

  • Cranial Diabetes Insipidus: in this case, the body does not produce enough antidiuretic hormone(AVP), so excessive amounts of water are lost in large quantities of urine. This happens when damage to the hypothalamus of a person or pituitary gland causes disruptions in the normal production, storage and release of vasopressin. Damage of hypothalamus or pituitary gland can result from surgery, infection, inflammation, a tumour, or a head injury.

  • Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus – this condition is caused by different factors, which includes the damage to the kidneys, presence of excessive levels of calcium, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract blockage or low potassium levels in the body. In this case, AVP produces more, but, for a variety of reasons, the kidneys do not respond to the antidiuretic hormone in the usual way. 

The Other Two Types of Diabetes Insipidus Are:

  • Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus – the defect of the thirst mechanism in the hypothalamus causes this condition. These defects result in an abnormal increase in the intake of thirst and fluid that suppresses vasopressin secretion and increases excretion of urine. Certain medications or mental health problems may predispose a person to adipogenic diabetes insipidus.

  • Gestational Diabetes Insipidus – this condition is caused during pregnancy, especially when the mother's ADH gets destroyed by the enzymes of the placenta. In a few cases, an enzyme made by the placenta – a temporary organ joining mother and baby breaks down the vasopressin of the mother. Most pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes insipidus have a mild case but do not have noticeable symptoms.

Solved Example

Question 1: What Is The Role of Emotional Intelligence In Diabetes?

Answer: The purpose of the study is to investigate the effect of an emotional intelligence(EI) program on the health-related quality of life and well-being of individuals with type 2 diabetes. So the results had no differences between the quality of life, prosperity, and emotional intelligence levels of the study and control groups before the commencement of the program. 

Did You Know?

Diabetes insipidus facts: it is a rare disorder caused by problems related to the antidiuretic hormone(ADH) or its receptor and causes frequent urination. Diabetes insipidus is not associated with diabetes mellitus. The diagnosis for diabetes insipidus is based on a series of tests like urinalysis and fluid deprivation test. Treatment for diabetes insipidus depends on the category of diabetes insipidus. Diabetes can lead to chronic kidney insipidus. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the difference between diabetes insipidus and Mellitus?

Answer: Diabetes insipidus is a condition characterized by the excessive amount of excretion of fluids through urine and suffers excessive thirst whereas diabetes mellitus is a category of metabolic diseases characterized by the higher levels of sugar glucose in the blood. Diabetes insipidus is commonly caused by a deficiency of the pituitary hormone vasopressin, which helps in regulating kidney function whereas diabetes mellitus is usually caused by a lack of the pancreatic hormone insulin, which fails metabolizing sugars and starch. Diabetes insipidus does not contain glucose, whereas diabetes mellitus contains glucose. Diabetes insipidus excretes stale urine, whereas Mellitus excretes sweet urine.

2. What is the treatment for diabetes insipidus?

Answer: Treatments might include hormone therapy depending on the type of disorder, a low-sodium diet and intake of a large amount of water. Doctors use some tests for diabetes insipidus diagnosis, which includes: 

  • Water deprivation test: While monitored by the whole doctor team the patient will be asked to stop drinking fluids for a while and to prevent dehydration, ADH allows the kidneys to decrease the amount of fluid lost in the urine.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI): the test is noninvasive, which checks for abnormalities in or near the pituitary glands. It uses a powerful magnetic field to sketch detailed pictures of brain tissues.

  • Genetic screening: this is suggested if any other member of your family had the same problem with excessive urination.