Diabetes Insipidus is a rare condition associated with non-functioning antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also known as Vasopressin (AVP). ADH is produced by the hypothalamus and is stored in the pituitary gland located below the brain. The condition is characterized by the body producing more urine than it should. This means that the body is not able to retain water.

Patients with diabetes insipidus will pee large volumes of urine daily and are always thirsty. If you have DI and fail to drink enough water, you might end up dehydrated, which is very dangerous for your health. DI is a severe condition that requires medical treatment. 

What is the Vasopressin or ADH?

DI is associated with the malfunction of the vasopressin hormone. Vasopressin is produced by the hypothalamus and stored and released from the hypothalamus. Hormones help coordinate different functions in the body by signaling other body parts what to do and when to do it.

The hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system as well as the activity of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located below the brain, behind the nose bridge—it stores and releases different hormones.

Vasopressin, or ADH, helps the amount of water the kidney reabsorbs in the body by filtering out the blood. The body releases ADH when you are dehydrated or have low blood pressure. It signals the kidney to absorb more water rather than releasing it as urine.

In the case of diabetes insipidus, your body is not releasing enough ADH, your pituitary gland is not releasing enough ADH to the body, or your kidneys are not able to use the ADH. Any of these reasons will cause you to urinate excessively and lose a lot of water.

What Are The Different Types Of Diabetes Insipidus?

As we mentioned earlier, DI can be caused by several reasons. There are different types of DI. They include:

Central Diabetes Insipidus

Central DI is the most common type caused by the body’s lack of vasopressin or ADH. It can either be caused by the hypothalamus not producing enough ADH or your pituitary gland not releasing enough ADH to the body.

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

This is when your hypothalamus produces enough ADH, but your kidneys do not respond to the ADH and can’t retain water as required.

Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus

This condition is unrelated to the production of ADH. However, your hypothalamus causes you to feel thirsty more often and makes you drink more water than usual, making you pee frequently.   

Gestational diabetes insipidus

This is a rare condition that often occurs during pregnancy. It often occurs when the placenta makes an enzyme that breaks down ADHD in your body. The condition is usually common in mothers pregnant with more than one baby.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Diabetes Insipidus?

You are likely to develop DI if:

  • You have family members who already have diabetes insipidus
  • You have had significant head trauma or brain surgery
  • You take medication that has side effects on your kidneys
  • You have certain metabolic disorders like low blood potassium levels and high blood calcium levels

How Is Diabetes Insipidus Treated?

The treatment for all types of diabetes insipidus in children and adults involves the administration of desmopressin (DDAVP). DDVAP is a synthetic form of vasopressin available in injections, tablets, and nasal sprays. It is used to replace the vasopressin that the body cannot produce. It is essential to ensure that you use the correct dose of desmopressin since too much can cause your body to retain too much water.

If you have Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, desmopressin is not the ideal treatment. Instead, doctors will treat the underlying conditions by switching medications and prescribing diuretics such as thiazides to help reduce the urine produced by the kidneys. Your doctor can also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and diuretics. Your doctor might also advise you to reduce the protein and salt in your diet to help your kidneys make less urine.

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