Diabetes Insipidus: Symptoms and Causes

Diabetes Insipidus: Symptoms and Causes

Diabetes insipidus is an uncommon disorder that causes an imbalance of water in the body. This imbalance causes intense thirst even after consuming fluids (polydipsia), and excretion of big quantities of urine (polyuria).

While the names diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus sound similar, they’re not related. Diabetes mellitus — which can take place as type 1 or type 2 — is the more common form of diabetes.

There’s no remedy for diabetes insipidus, however treatments are available to ease your thirst and stabilize your urine output.


The most typical signs and symptoms of diabetes insipidus are:

Depending upon the seriousness of the condition, urine output can be as much as 16 quarts (about 15 liters) a day if you’re consuming a great deal of fluids. Generally, a healthy grownup will urinate an average of less than 3 quarts (about 3 liters) a day.

Other signs may consist of needing to get up at night to urinate (nocturia) and bed-wetting.

Babies and young children who have diabetes insipidus might have the following symptoms and signs:

  • Unusual fussiness or inconsolable sobbing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Delayed development
  • Weight reduction
When to see a doctor

See your doctor right away if you notice the two most common signs of diabetes insipidus: extreme urination and severe thirst.

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a condition identified by big amounts of water down urine and increased thirst. The amount of urine produced can be nearly 20 liters per day. Reduction of fluid has little impact on the concentration of the urine. Complications might consist of dehydration or seizures. [From Wiki]


Diabetes insipidus happens when your body can’t regulate how it manages fluids. Generally, your kidneys get rid of excess body fluids from your blood stream. This fluid waste is momentarily saved in your bladder as urine, before you urinate.

When your fluid regulation system is working effectively, your kidneys conserve fluid and earn less urine when your body water is decreased, such as through sweating.

The volume and structure of your body fluids remain balanced through a combination of oral intake and excretion by the kidneys. The rate of fluid intake is largely governed by thirst, although your practices can increase your intake far above the quantity required. The rate of fluid excreted by your kidneys is greatly influenced by the production of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), likewise referred to as vasopressin.

Your body makes ADH in the hypothalamus and stores the hormone in your pituitary gland, a small gland located in the base of your brain. ADH is released into your bloodstream when your body begins to end up being dehydrated. ADH then focuses the urine by triggering the kidney tubules to release water back into your blood stream rather than excreting as much water into your urine.

The method which your system is interfered with determines which type of diabetes insipidus you have:

  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus occurs when there’s a problem in the kidney tubules — the structures in your kidneys that cause water to be excreted or reabsorbed. This problem makes your kidneys not able to appropriately react to ADH. The problem may be due to an acquired (genetic) disorder or a chronic kidney condition. Particular drugs, such as lithium or the antiviral medications cidofovir and foscarnet (Foscavir), likewise can cause nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
  • Central diabetes insipidus. The reason for main diabetes insipidus in grownups is generally damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. This damage interferes with the normal production, storage and release of ADH. The damage is frequently due to surgery, a tumor, an illness (such as meningitis), swelling or a head injury. For children, the cause might be an inherited congenital disease. In many cases the cause is unknown.
  • Gestational diabetes insipidus. Gestational diabetes insipidus is rare and happens just during pregnancy when an enzyme made by the placenta — the system of capillary and other tissue that enables the exchange of nutrients and waste items in between a mom and her baby — ruins ADH in the mom.
  • Main polydipsia. This condition — also referred to as dipsogenic diabetes insipidus or psychogenic polydipsia — can cause excretion of big volumes of dilute urine. Instead of an issue with ADH production or damage, the underlying cause is consumption of excessive fluids. Prolonged extreme water consumption by itself can harm the kidneys and reduce ADH, making your body not able to concentrate urine. Main polydipsia can be the outcome of abnormal thirst brought on by damage to the thirst-regulating system, located in the hypothalamus. Primary polydipsia has likewise been connected to mental disorder.

Sometimes of diabetes insipidus, physicians never ever figure out a cause.

Risk factors

Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus that’s present at or shortly after birth normally has a genetic cause that completely modifies the kidneys’ capability to focus the urine. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus generally affects males, though women can pass the gene on to their children.

There are 4 types of DI, each with a various set of causes. Central DI (CDI) is because of not enough of the hormonal agent vasopressin (antidiuretic hormonal agent). This can be due to damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland or genes. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI) happens when the kidneys do not react effectively to vasopressin. Dipsogenic DI is due to unusual thirst systems in the hypothalamus while gestational DI occurs only during pregnancy. Diagnosis is often based upon urine tests, blood tests, and the fluid deprivation test. Diabetes mellitus is a separate condition with an unassociated mechanism, though both cause big quantities of urine to be produced. [From Wiki]



Except for primary polydipsia, which causes you to retain excessive water, diabetes insipidus can cause your body to keep insufficient water to function correctly, and you can become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause:

  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in skin elasticity
  • Low high blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Raised blood salt (hypernatremia)
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weight loss

Electrolyte imbalance

Diabetes insipidus can also cause an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are minerals in your blood — such as sodium and potassium — that keep the balance of fluids in your body. Electrolyte imbalance can cause symptoms, such as:

  • Tiredness or sleepiness
  • Queasiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion

Also read: Diabetes Insipidus: Diagnosis and Treatment

One Reply to “Diabetes Insipidus: Symptoms and Causes”
  1. Matthew

    In case this helps I simply want to say that I too have Diabetes Insipidus (DI) and it relates to a rare condition which I likewise have: Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis or LCH. The DI came about two years after the LCH started however it took a really long period of time to be diagnosed for both. I was consuming about 20 litres of water per day/night, going on very little sleep and having a horrible time. The doctors were very slow to react and take my symptoms seriously. There was instant relief when I began taking Desmopressin through the nose, twice a day but that is no longer really enough. I am continuously monitorerd. The LCH can impact the pituitary gland sometimes and this is what occurred with me.

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