What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of diabetes insipidus include extreme thirst that makes a person crave for cold water or drink considerable amounts of water; too much urine volume; or frequent urination, typically every hour, states MedlinePlus. In people with diabetes insipidus, the kidneys fail to retain water and control the elimination of water.

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Full Answer

Diabetes insipidus is a condition in which the kidneys are unable to produce concentrated urine normally, leading to the excretion of large amounts of diluted urine, explains MedlinePlus. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood numerous times daily. They normally reabsorb most of the water and produce only small amounts of concentrated urine.

Central diabetes insipidus results from insufficient levels of antidiuretic hormone, which controls the amount of water eliminated in the urine, according to MedlinePlus. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus occurs when the kidneys cannot respond to the hormone. Damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus leads to central diabetes insipidus. Possible conditions that cause the damage include surgery, inadequate blood supply to the gland, infection, head injury or genetic issues.

Kidney defect leads to nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, notes MedlinePlus. Kidney disease, high calcium levels, genetic problems and medications are potential causes of the condition. Both central and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus are rare. To diagnose these conditions, doctors evaluate a patient's medical history and symptoms and order diagnostic tests, such as urinalysis, urine concentration, and blood sodium and osmolarity.

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