One kind of Diabetes is not mentioned often, however, it can present a serious health risk. There are actually four types of Diabetes Insipidus, but none of them involve the metabolism of sugar.
The four types of Diabetes Insipidus are caused by a lack of anti-diuretic hormone that controls the ability of the kidneys to concentrate urine.
➡ One of the primary characteristics is a large amount of diluted urine. This means that the urine is mostly water and not enough waste products are passed daily.
In each of the four types of Diabetes Insipidus, the kidneys have lost their ability to concentrate urine and return the water to the body to prevent dehydration.
However, they are all treated differently, because the way people lose the ability to concentrate urine can happen in four different ways.
A part of the pituitary gland can be destroyed by conditions that range from tumors to head injuries or brain infections.
1. The most common cause is a lack of vasopressin, a diuretic hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Its job is to concentrate the urine.
- Vasopressin encourages retention of water by the kidneys and increases the blood pressure.
2. In the case of a head injury, of course, the physicians know the cause. However, without a head injury, they must investigate a possible tumor in the pituitary gland or a subclinical brain infection, which means it’s not severe enough to show definite or readily seen symptoms.
The condition is permanent but there are medications which can easily control the symptoms.
➡ Although medication will help the patient stay under control, there will be some restrictions, such as making every effort to prevent dehydration and always taking their medication, to live a normal lifestyle.
3. Occasionally the pituitary gland is damaged during pregnancy, causing symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus during the pregnancy, but they resolve about 4-6 weeks after the baby is born.
Another reason Diabetes Insipidus can show up during pregnancy is that the placenta metabolizes the hormone too quickly before the mother’s kidneys can use it to concentrate her urine.
The hormone vasopressin can also be decreased by an excessive intake of fluid. That situation is called primary polydipsia.
➡ Polydipsia describes someone who drinks excessive amounts of fluid and is more common in people with abnormal thirst triggers in their brain.
4. Another type of polydipsia stems from psychosomatic causes, caused or aggravated by a mental cause such as internal conflict or stress for which there is no definitive treatment identified.
➡ Urination continues throughout the day and night-time. This can be troubling for children because it can result in bedwetting.
➡ It also interferes with eating, growth, weight gain, and appetite.
➡ Children may present to their pediatrician with fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
Adults who aren’t diagnosed with Diabetes Insipidus can stay healthy for years, as long as they stay hydrated. If they cannot, it puts them at higher risk for other significant problems.
Diabetes Insipidus comes with several lifestyle restrictions focused on keeping you from becoming dehydrated.
- Anyone diagnosed with this type of Diabetes must take their medications to live a normal life that will not include using the bathroom frequently or drinking large amounts of fluid.
Persons diagnosed with one of the four types of Diabetes Insipidus should wear a Medic Alert bracelet at all times, to inform emergency medical staff, in the event you cannot communicate your special needs.