Diabetes Insipidus Causes: A Disorder of The Water Balance

Diabetes Insipidus Causes

Diabetes Insipidus Causes: With diabetes insipidus, those affected have to go to the toilet constantly and feel very thirsty.

The following article will tell you about the different forms of diabetes insipidus, how it can be diagnosed and treated.

What is Diabetes Insipidus?

Diabetes insipidus (also known as urinary urgency) is a hormonal disorder in which the water balance in the human body does not function properly. The result is that the kidneys excrete too much urine (polyuria) and those affected suffer from increased thirst because the body wants to compensate for the loss of fluid.

The rare disease can be divided into two forms: diabetes insipidus centralis and diabetes insipidus renalis. Diabetes insipidus centralis is the most common form of diabetes insipidus. The affected person lacks the hormone ADH (antidiuretic hormone or vasopressin), which is responsible for regulating the water balance. In diabetes insipidus renalis, on the other hand, the hormone ADH exists in the body, but the kidneys cannot properly accept it.

Info: Even if diabetes insipidus sounds similar to diabetes mellitus, the two diseases have nothing in common. While the water balance is disturbed in diabetes insipidus, the sugar metabolism causes problems in diabetes mellitus.

What are the Symptoms?

The main symptoms include frequent urination, with a large amount of, usually very dilute, urine being passed, and a constant feeling of thirst.

In Addition, The Following Symptoms can Occur with Diabetes Insipidus:

  • Dry skin
  • Difficulty sleeping from going to the toilet at night
  • Indigestion
  • nervous tension and cramps
  • Stunted growth (in children)
  • Electrolyte disorders (can lead to heart and nerve problems)

Diabetes Insipidus Causes:

Diabetes insipidus is only very rarely genetically determined. As a rule, it only appears in the course of life. The amount of urine the body excretes is determined by a hormone called ADH (antidiuretic hormone). A healthy body usually excretes about as much fluid as it consumes. The more water we drink, the more urine we shed. People with diabetes insipidus always pass an increased amount of urine.

In diabetes insipidus centralis, is, as already mentioned, a lack of the hormone ADH ago. The reason for this is that the brain does not send out a production command. This error is triggered by damage to the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus is responsible for the production of the ADH, the cerebral gland for the delivery. The damage can be caused by head injuries (e.g. traumatic brain injury), a tumor, an inflammatory disease or a previous operation.

In diabetes insipidus renalis, on the other hand, the brain produces the hormone ADH in the body, but the kidneys cannot use it. The information from the hormone is not understood. Diabetes insipidus renalis can be triggered by certain medications, kidney diseases, too high a calcium level in the blood or poisoning.

Diabetes Insipidus – The Diagnosis:

If diabetes insipidus is suspected, the family doctor is usually the first point of contact. This can refer the person concerned to an endocrinologist (specialist in hormonal disorders). The doctor will check whether the disease is present with the help of a blood test, among other things. This measures the sodium content in the blood. In addition, the amount of water and urine that the patient consumes and excretes over a certain period of time is recorded and compared.

In addition, a thirst attempt is often used. The patient is not allowed to drink anything for about twelve hours under medical supervision. It tests whether the kidneys are able to concentrate urine. By evaluating all of these tests, the medical professional can identify diabetes insipidus.

In order to determine which form of the disease is present, the patient is given artificially produced ADH. In diabetes insipidus centralis, this improves the urine concentration because the body can use the hormone. In the case of diabetes insipidus renalis, the hormone administration does not change anything.

How can Diabetes Insipidus be Treated?

If diabetes insipidus has been diagnosed, the doctor will first try to compensate for the disturbed electrolyte balance with infusions .

Treatment of Central Diabetes Inspididus:

If there is a hormone deficiency, as in diabetes insipidus centralis, this hormone is taken in the form of a substitute as a nasal spray, tablet or via a syringe. This can correct the deficiency. The intake can be supported by certain medications . In addition, the patient has to drink less, as too much fluid can lead to overhydration.

If the cause of central diabetes insipidus is known, it should be treated. For example, a tumor that damages the brain could be removed by surgery.

Therapy for Diabetes Insipidus Renalis:

In the treatment of diabetes insipidus renalis, hormone therapy would not make sense because the body, as already mentioned, cannot use the hormone. Here, too, the trigger must be determined and therapy started there. Often the cause is too high a calcium level in the blood. If this is the case, the calcium content must be reduced through various measures. Certain medications can also be prescribed for this.

What cause Bad Breath?

Otherwise, doctors often rely on diuretics ( diuretics, e.g. desmopressin ), through which sodium is excreted, for diabetes insipidus renalis. This allows the kidneys to start absorbing fluids again. In addition, patients should change their diet and avoid foods that contain high amounts of table salt and large amounts of protein.


As a rule, the chances of a cure with diabetes insipidus are good, but these depend on the cause of the disease. A complete cure is possible if the cause can be completely treated and thus cleared up. Even if diabetes inspidus is not completely curable, a normal life for people with the disease is largely possible with the help of medication.

However, if diabetes insipidus is not treated, the result can be that the body dries out and death from organ failure occurs. It is therefore all the more important that a doctor is consulted at the first signs of the disease.


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