Diabetes insipidus or water diabetes is different from sugar diabetes

Diabetes insipidus is a rare form of diabetes also known as water diabetes. It is different from sugar diabetes.

Diabetes insipidus is caused when the kidneys have no ability to save water, which in turn leads to frequent urinations with large volumes of water and extreme thirst with a craving for ice water. It is a condition that is not common and occurs when the kidneys are performing their normal duties of filtrating blood. The retaining of water in the kidneys is controlled by an antidiuretic hormone (ADH) called vasopressin. This hormone is produced in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus and controlled by the pituitary gland which is a very small gland located at the base of the brain.

Diabetes insipidus can be caused by damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus because of infection, surgery, tumor, cancer, or head injury. This is called central diabetes insipidus because the area that controls the retaining of fluid is where the problem lies. Central diabetes insipidus is the most common type of diabetes insipidus. In treating central diabetes insipidus, the underlying cause must be treated such as curing the infection or removing the tumor or cancer. Symptoms of central diabetes insipidus can be controlled with vasopressin either as a nasal spray or oral tablets.

When diabetes insipidus is caused by the inability of the kidneys to respond to antidiuretic hormone or ADH, it is known as nephrogenic diabetes insipidus and is caused by a problem based usually with the kidneys. This commonly occurs because of a problem caused by something else such as blockage in the urinary tract, use of certain medications most commonly lithium, high levels of calcium, or low levels of potassium. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is an extremely rare form of diabetes. When the cause of this form of diabetes insipidus is identified and corrected, the disease usually goes away. Medications used to treat nephrogenic diabetes insipidus include anti-inflammatory medication indomethacin and diuretics such as amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).

Complications of either type of diabetes insipidus can be caused by dehydration which causes dry skin, fever, weight loss and rapid heart beat and/or electrolyte imbalance which causes fatigue, irritability, headaches and muscle pains. If you develop any of the symptoms or complications that can be related to either type of diabetes insipidus, you should meet with your primary care physician as quickly as possible.

There is currently no way to prevent either type of diabetes insipidus but the prognosis is good but the underlying reason for this problem needs to be identified and corrected.

Diabetes insipidus is a rare form of diabetes also known as water diabetes. It is different from sugar diabetes.

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