What You Should Know about Diabetes Insipidus
Diabetes insipidus is a condition that occurs when the kidneys are unable to retain the right amount water needed for the proper functioning of the body when the blood is being filtered.
The right amount of water that has to be retained by the kidneys is controlled by a hormone called antidiuretic hormone or ADH also known as vasopressin.
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is produced by the hypothalamus region of the brain. The hormone that is produced is stored in the pituitary gland present at the base of the brain.
The pituitary gland releases the ADH as and when needed by the body.
What exactly happens?
The volume and composition of body fluids are balanced by the intake and excretion of fluids. The kidneys remove excess body fluids in the bloodstream that is stored as urine in the urinary bladder.
When the ADH hormone reaches the kidneys, it signals for some of the water to be reabsorbed to make up for loss of fluids due to sweating or dehydration. Diabetes insipidus occurs when this process does not work correctly.
Types of Diabetes Insipidus and Causes
1.Central Diabetes Insipidus
Central Diabetes Insipidus is a condition that occurs when the pituitary gland produces low amounts of antidiuretic hormone (ADH).
Causes of Central Diabetes Insipidus
- when the head is injured
- due to an infection
- tumor in the brain
- surgery in the head
- blood supply cut off to the pituitary gland
- a severe infection
In some cases, Central Diabetes Insipidus can be due to genetics.
2. Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus occurs when the kidneys do not respond to ADH.
Causes of Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus can be caused by
- drugs such as lithium, amphotericin, demeclocycline
- high levels of calcium in the body
- polycystic kidney disease
3. Dipsogenic Diabetes
Dipsogenic Diabetes occurs when the thirst mechanism that is controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain does not function properly. Due to this, the person feels very thirsty and drinks a lot of water.
The excess intake of water suppresses the production of ADH and results in increased production of urine.
4. Gestational Diabetes Insipidus
Gestational Diabetes Insipidus occurs only during pregnancy. An enzyme produced by the placenta destroys ADH that results in Gestational Diabetes Insipidus.
Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus
Frequent urination occurs in the case of Central Diabetes Insipidus/Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus/Gestational Diabetes.
Excessive thirst occurs in the case of Dipsogenic Diabetes.
Difference between Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes mellitus have common symptoms such as excess thirst and frequent urination, but they are not the same.
Diabetes Insipidus is due to ADH produced in the pituitary gland and has nothing to do with insulin.
Diabetes mellitus is due to lack of insulin hormone or due to insulin resistance. Insulin is produced by the pancreas.