Diabetes insipidus


Diabetes insipidus is a condition that affects the body’s fluid balance, resulting in excessive urine production and increased thirst even after drinking fluids.

It is important to note that diabetes insipidus and diabetes mellitus, which are commonly referred to as “diabetes,” are two distinct conditions. Diabetes mellitus is a more prevalent condition that can manifest as either type 1 or type 2 and involves high blood sugar levels.

Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), also known as vasopressin, is primarily to blame for diabetes insipidus; either your body doesn’t produce enough of it or your kidneys don’t utilize it properly.

While diabetes insipidus cannot be cured, there are available treatments that can effectively manage its symptoms. These treatments aim to alleviate excessive thirst, reduce urinary output, and prevent dehydration.


Diabetes insipidus symptoms and signs include:

  • Frequent drinking water and urination at night
  • Generating a lot of urine that is pale in color
  • Extreme thirst
  • Craving for cold drinks

You may create up to 20 quarts (or 19 liters) of pee every day if your condition is severe and you consume a lot of fluids. An adult who is in good health normally urinates between 1 and 3 quarts (or 1 and 3 liters) each day.

  • Children with diabetes insipidus may exhibit some of the following signs and symptoms:
  • Generating a lot of urine that is pale in color
  • Getting soaking wet diapers or wetting the bed
  • Extreme thirst
  • Craving for cold drinks
  • Growth delay
  • Losing weight
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Sleeping problems
  • Visual problems
  • Headache

If you experience excessive urine and intense thirst, consult a doctor right away.


When the body’s fluid levels are not adequately balanced, diabetes insipidus develops.

The fluid component of your blood is filtered by your kidneys to remove waste. While the majority of the fluid is returned to the bloodstream, urine is made up of waste and a small quantity of fluid. After being momentarily stored in your bladder, urine is expelled from your body.

Body needs anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), also known as vasopressin, to keep appropriate water balance. This hormone helps the fluid that is filtered by the kidneys back into the bloodstream again. ADH is produced in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain, and is then kept in the pituitary gland, a little gland situated at the base of the brain. Excess urine is produced when there is a deficiency in ADH or when it is blocked from working.

If you have diabetes insipidus, your body struggles to maintain correct fluid balance. Depending on the type of diabetes insipidus you have, the cause may vary. Types consist of:

  • Central diabetes insipidus. By interfering with the normal production, storage, and release of ADH, damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus from surgery, a tumor, a head accident, or disease can result in central diabetes insipidus. Another possible reason of this issue is an inherited genetic disorder. In some cases, the disorder may be attributed to an autoimmune response wherein the body’s immune system attacks the cells responsible for producing ADH.
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. When your kidney is compromised, they are unable to respond to ADH as they should, resulting in nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. A chronic kidney condition or an inherited (genetic) issue could be to blame for the impairment. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can also be brought on by a number of pharmaceuticals, including lithium and antiviral treatments like foscarnet. Blocked urinary tract or a urinary tract infection can also cause the disease.
  • Gestational diabetes insipidus. Pregnancy-related diabetic insipidus is uncommon. ADH in the mother is destroyed by an enzyme produced by the placenta only during pregnancy.
  • Primary polydipsia. This disorder, also called as dipsogenic diabetes insipidus, can lead to the production of huge volumes of diluted urine as a result of consuming an excessive amount of fluids.

Damage to the hypothalamic system that controls thirst might result in primary polydipsia. Additionally, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses have been linked to the condition.

While the cause of diabetes insipidus can be challenging to diagnose, testing can help identify an underlying cause over time.

Risk factors

Although anyone can develop diabetes insipidus, certain individuals may be at a higher risk. This includes people who:

  • Have a member of the family with a history of the disorder.
  • Take specific medications, such as diuretics, which can lead to kidney problems.
  • Have elevated levels of calcium or decreased levels of potassium in their bloodstream.
  • Have had a severe head injury or undergone brain surgery.