Diabetes Insipidus is a disease of the kidneys in which they can not conserve water. Kidneys perform the critical function of filtering blood but with this disease, they are unable to perform this function effectively. Resultantly, they are unable to conserve water. A hormone named Vasopressin ( Anti Diuretic hormone also known has ADH ) controls conservation of water by kidneys. This hormone is produced in hypothalamus, which is an area of the brain. The hormone is then stored and released on need basis by a small gland located at the base of your brain. This small gland is known as pituitary gland.
Types of Diabetes Insipidus
There are basically two types.
- Central diabetes insipidus – This is the type of diabetes insipidus which is caused by the lack of ADH hormone in the body.
- Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus – This is the type of Diabetes Insipidus which results from the malfunction of kidneys and their non response to ADH hormone.
Central Diabetes Insipidus
This can be caused by multiple factors which can damage Pituitary Gland or Hypothalamus. Some of the possible reasons could be infection, head injury , surgery , tumor or a decrease or complete loss of blood supply to the gland. This type of Diabetes Insipidus is also hereditary in nature.
Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
In this type of Diabetes Insipidus, their is some kind of problem with the kidneys and as a result the water gets reabsorbed in the blood stream again. The chance of occurrence of this type is less than Central Diabetes Insipidus. This may also present itself as a hereditary disorder , mostly in male children due to an abnormal gene. There are certain other factors which might lead to Nephrogenic Diabets Insipidus. Some of these factors are :
- Drugs like amphotericin B, demeclocycline and Lithium
- Hypercalcemia ( More than normal calcium levels in the body )
- Kidney disease
Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus
Some of the common symptoms are excessive thirst and strong craving for ice water. Another common symptom is more than normal volume of urine.
Treatment of Diabetes Insipidus
The key to the treatment of diabetes insipidus is to remove the basic cause. Central Diabetes Insipidus can be controlled to reasonable limits by using medication like Vasopressin, which is available as a nasal spray or in the form of tablets. If the cause of Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus is medication like Lithium, then stopping the medicine may help and kidneys may again start to perform their function of water conservation. However, there are chances that the disease may be permanent after use of Lithium for many years. By taking enough fluids to match the levels of urine output, Hereditary and Lithium induced nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus is treated. Medicines used to treat the condition are anti-inflammatory drugs or diuretics.
You need to call your doctor if you have developed the conditions of diabetes insipidus or you feel extreme thirst and craving for ice water.