Diabetes Insipidus – Diagnosis and Treatment

Jeannette | Posted on December 30, 2022 
diabetes insipidus treatment

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is an uncommon condition characterized by constant thirst and excessive clear, odorless urine production. Every day, the average person excretes between 1-2 quarts of urine. Diabetes insipidus patients may urinate between 3-20 quarts per day. The most prevalent forms of this illness are central diabetes insipidus, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, and diabetes insipidus caused by pregnancy.

This post is here to shed light on diabetes insipidus treatment. In this article, we intend to discuss important aspects of the disease process, including the causes, diagnosis, and types of diabetes insipidus. Moreover, the article also highlights diabetes insipidus natural treatment.

Diabetes Insipidus Treatment

Before moving toward diabetes insipidus treatment, let’s first explore the disease’s causes, symptoms, and diagnosis.

Pathophysiological Process of Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes insipidus is a metabolic condition characterized by a total or partial failure to concentrate urine, causing the body to produce excessively diluted urine. It may be caused by a deficiency of arginine vasopressin (AVP) or antidiuretic hormone (ADH). The hormone is produced by the brain and secreted by the posterior pituitary. Resistance to the hormonal action in the renal collecting ducts also results in DI.

Diabetes insipidus occurs when the hormone vasopressin does not function properly. AVP can significantly regulate the amount of fluid in the body. The portion of the brain responsible for producing this hormone is known as the hypothalamus. The AVP is stored in the pituitary gland until it is required. When the body’s water level becomes dangerously low, the pituitary gland begins to secrete AVP. It achieves its role of concentrating urine by decreasing the amount of water flushed out of the body by the kidneys. This increases the kidneys’ urine concentration.

Diabetes insipidus is a rare condition in which the body loses excessive water because the kidneys cannot produce sufficiently concentrated urine due to a lack of AVP production. AVP medication will be effective on the kidneys and forms an important part of diabetes insipidus treatment. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is the form of diabetes insipidus caused by this disease. People feel thirsty because their bodies are attempting to get them to drink more water to compensate for the additional water they are losing.

Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus

The below signs and symptoms are associated with central or partial diabetes insipidus:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Dilute urine
  • Colorless urine
  • Dehydration

Types of Diabetes Insipidus

Central Diabetes Insipidus 

It can be inherited or caused by damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland that produces or stores hormones. A head injury, surgery, or disease like a tumor can cause damage. An insufficient response to the hormone desmopressin is one of the hallmarks of partial diabetes insipidus.

Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus 

Also known as primary polydipsia, this type of DI is characterized by excessive urine production due to excessive fluid intake. It may result from injury to the hypothalamus, which regulates thirst, or mental health issues like schizophrenia.

Gestational Diabetes Insipidus

This type of DI only occurs during pregnancy. An enzyme produced by the placenta prevents or inhibits the breakdown of ADH in a pregnant woman.

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus 

It is caused by a kidney issue that prevents ADH from functioning properly. A kidney defect can be inherited, caused by a long-term problem with the kidneys, or caused by drugs such as antiviral medications.

diabetes doctors

Diagnosis of Diabetes Insipidus

If a patient presents with central or partial diabetes insipidus symptoms, which typically include increased thirst and urination, clinicians have many diagnostic methods at their disposal, including:

Blood Test: Diagnosing diabetes insipidus requires the results of a blood test that examines for salt and other minerals.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): The brain’s imaging can determine if the symptoms are caused by hypothalamic or pituitary gland dysfunction. These glands are involved in producing and storing antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

Stimulation Test: Fluids are administered intravenously that stimulate the body to produce more ADH. Then, blood tests are performed to determine if the symptoms are due to diabetes insipidus or primary polydipsia, which is excessive drinking.

Urinalysis: The urine test determines if there is excessive water in the urine. The test can also determine if excessive thirst and urination are caused by diabetes mellitus (dysregulation of blood sugar) or diabetes insipidus by measuring the quantity of glucose in the urine.

Diabetes Insipidus Treatment Options

The most common diabetes insipidus treatment is to drink enough fluids to compensate for dehydration caused by excessive urine production. Depending on the underlying cause, an endocrinologist may also be able to recommend various diabetes insipidus treatment options.

Since the body cannot produce enough ADH, the hormone Desmopressin can be given to treat central diabetic insipidus. This hormone can be administered via nasal spray, tablet, or injection, according to the patient’s preference.

Primary polydipsia, also known as dipsogenic diabetic insipidus, cannot be treated with medication. Practitioners may recommend chewing gum, consuming ice chips, or sucking on sugar-free candies as diabetes insipidus treatment to quench thirst and maintain a moist mouth. A little dose of desmopressin taken before bed can lessen the frequency of getting up at night due to the urge to pass urine.

Desmopressin is a safe medication that can be used to treat gestational diabetes insipidus during pregnancy. Usually, the symptoms disappear following the baby’s birth, but they can return in the next pregnancy.

Diabetes insipidus treatment to treat nephrogenic diabetes is based on altering your intake of calcium and potassium or replacing the medications causing it. Your physician may also recommend taking painkillers or thiazide-based water tablets.

Diabetes Insipidus Natural Treatment

If you have diabetes insipidus, you must take medication and consume lots of water daily to prevent dehydration.

Regular water intake forms a crucial part of diabetes insipidus natural treatment.

Another important consideration is reducing your sallt and protein intake. It helps in reducing urine production by your kidneys. It is also vital to consult with a health expert before making significant dietary changes.

See Also: Type 1 Diabetes and Life Expectancy


Even though diabetes insipidus is typically a disorder that lasts a person’s entire life, most people can live a very normal life as long as they monitor their condition and fluid intake. Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration are two of the most significant complications necessitating the prompt diabetes insipidus treatment.

In the worst situations, severe dehydration can induce confusion, nausea, fainting, seizures, and even death if it is not treated or detected promptly. People with diabetes insipidus should always consume lots of fluids to compensate for their excessive urine production. Those with diabetes insipidus who experience dizziness or confusion should not hesitate to visit the hospital immediately.

Family Medicine Austin has a team of diabetes specialists who provide comprehensive care. We equip our patients with the means to take charge of their health by acting as advisors and providing individualized treatment plans.

Schedule your appointment with Family Medicine Austin if you have any queries regarding diabetes insipidus treatment or if you suspect you have diabetes.

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