Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a rare but annoying disease that makes it hard for the body to keep the right amount of fluids in the cells. In this review of diabetes insipidus VS SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone), we will primarily focus on diabetes insipidus, mainly characterized by extreme thirst and passing urine frequently. This blog post will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment of diabetes insipidus, a necessary but less well-known disease.
What is diabetes insipidus?
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Diabetes insipidus is a rare disease that makes some people urinate too much. Diabetes mellitus, which makes it hard for the body to control blood sugar, is unrelated to this condition.
Most people produce one to three quarts of urine every day. Others, like those with diabetes insipidus, can pee up to 20 quarts daily, more than six times that amount.
Polydipsia, excessive thirst, and polyuria, or frequent urination, are symptoms of excessive urine production.
A deficiency of chemicals or electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium that help the body control fluids can also happen in people with diabetes insipidus.
Adults with DI experience specific symptoms due to their bodies’ inability to maintain proper fluid levels. These are the most common signs of diabetes insipidus in adults:
Too Much Thirst (Polydipsia): People with DI often have an unbearable and extreme thirst, a normal reaction to losing too many fluids through pee.
Frequent Urination: Adults with DI may pass excessive amounts of diluted urine, sometimes up to 20 liters daily. This is called frequent urination or polyuria. This need to urinate a lot happens day and night.
Nocturia: Frequent nighttime urine, or nocturia, can interfere with sleep cycles, make people tired, and lower their quality of life.
Symptoms of dehydration: People with DI risk becoming dehydrated, even if they drink more water to quench their thirst. Some signs of dehydration are a dry mouth and face, a faster heart rate, and, in the worst cases, feeling dizzy or passing out.
Low Blood Pressure: If you lose too much water, you can become dehydrated and develop low blood pressure, making you feel dizzy, weak, and tired.
Weight Loss: As a consequence of the excessive fluid loss, some adults with DI may experience unintentional weight loss.
Kids can also get DI; the signs and symptoms are much like those in adults. These are the most common signs that a child has diabetes insipidus:
Polydipsia, or Excessive Thirst: When a child has a solid and constant thirst. For example, they might keep asking for water or other drinks, even after drinking a lot.
Frequent Urination (Polyuria): Like adults, kids with DI pass large amounts of pee that isn’t thoroughly mixed. Even at night, they might need to use the restroom regularly.
Nocturia: Going to the bathroom often at night can mess up a child’s sleep, making them tired and affecting their daily activities.
Bedwetting (Enuresis): Bedwetting can happen because of DI, especially in younger children.
Signs of Dehydration: Kids with DI risk becoming dehydrated even if they drink a lot of water. A dry mouth, dry skin, tiredness, and a fast heartbeat are signs of a child being dehydrated.
Irritability: Younger children may become fussy or irritable due to the discomfort that comes from their excessive thirst and frequent urination.
Loss of Weight: Just like adults, kids with DI may lose weight without meaning to because they are losing so much fluid.
Diabetes insipidus can happen if any part of the body’s system for controlling water loss or gain breaks down. Low amounts of a hormone known as another name for antidiuretic hormone (ADH) are closely linked to it. The amount of ADH in your body affects how well your kidneys store water.
To understand diabetes insipidus, you should know how your body usually handles and uses water.
According to StatPearls, fluids comprise about 50 to 60 percent of an adult’s body mass and about 75 percent of an infant’s.
Your health must keep the right amount of fluid in your body. Your body needs water, and eating and drinking throughout the day can help. You can eliminate fluid by breathing, urinating, and sweating.
Your cells and hormones work together to keep body fluids in check. When you sweat and need to refill the fluid you lose, it makes less urine. When your body has too much liquid, it makes more urine.
- By taking extra water out of your bloodstream, the kidneys play a big part in keeping the body’s fluid levels in check.
- The bladder holds on to wastewater until you go to the bathroom.
- After being made in the brain, ADH is kept in the pituitary gland.
- ADH is made in a specific part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus controls thirst.
- The pituitary gland sends ADH into the bloodstream when your body needs to hold on to water.
- Your body releases less ADH or none when it needs to get rid of water, so you’ll have to go to the restroom more often.
There are four main types of diabetes insipidus, each with a different cause.
People with type 2 diabetes can get it from their genes or from harming the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, which is where ADH is made and stored. This harm can come from a tumor, illness, a head injury, or surgery.
This type, also known as primary polydipsia, is characterized by excessive urination as a result of excessive water consumption. Damage to the hypothalamus, which controls thirst, can cause it or be a sign of some mental illnesses, like schizophrenia.
This disease only happens during pregnancy because an enzyme made in the placenta stops or damages the ADH of the pregnant person.
A kidney issue that prevents ADH from functioning properly is the cause of this disease. The kidney flaw can be passed down from parent to child or happen because of a long-term kidney problem or drug use, such as with some medications for viruses or lithium.
Contact your doctor immediately if you frequently go to the restroom more often than usual and feel thirsty.
Diabetes insipidus (DI) is usually diagnosed in a few steps:
Your doctor will check the urine to see how much salt and waste are in it—test for urine-specific gravity. People with diabetes insipidus have urine that is mostly water and not much waste. There will be little urine-specific gravity.
Based on your family background, genetic testing may be done to see if you have a type of diabetes insipidus that is passed down from parent to child.
Some specific tests are:
Water Deprivation Test: The person being tested doesn’t drink water, and their blood and pee are watched closely. When someone has DI, their pee stays watery, and their blood sodium levels rise.
MRI scans: These are used to find structural problems in the brain, like tumors, that could be causing DI.
Changing how you live is an essential part of treating diabetes insipidus.
Staying hydrated is the most important thing to do. You can do this by always carrying water or giving your child with diabetes insipidus water every two hours. Your doctor can help you determine how much water you must drink daily.
People who need to know about your diabetes insipidus should have a medical alert card or badge in case of an emergency. People close to you should know you are dehydrated because it can happen quickly.
Diabetes insipidus, a rare but severe illness, can affect daily living. Consult a doctor if you suspect DI due to increased thirst and urine and the risk of dehydration. If you notice these symptoms, it’s essential to see an endocrinologist for diabetes, as they specialize in hormonal disorders, including DI. While there is no cure for DI, effective management can help individuals lead a fulfilling and healthy life, allowing them to control their symptoms better and prevent complications.
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