Diabetes Insipidus Treatment – Treatments for Types of DI

Diabetes insipidus treatment will depend on what type of diabetes insipidus is diagnosed. There are four different types of diabetes insipidus that share similar symptoms but very different causes and treatments.

"Diabetes Insipidus (DI) is a disorder in which there is an abnormal increase in urine output, fluid intake and often thirst. It causes symptoms such as urinary frequency, nocturia (frequent awakening at night to urinate) or enuresis (involuntary urination during sleep or "bedwetting")"(1).

Diabetes insipidus treatment – Neurogenic DI

The most common type of DI is neurogenic or central diabetes insipidus. This type is caused by a lack of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Treatment involves providing the body with a synthetic hormone (desmopressin) to make up for the deficiency.

Desmopressin is administered as a nasal spray, oral medication or by injection.

In mild cases of neurogenic DI, increased water intake may be sufficient to treat the disease and ensure proper hydration.

Diabetes insipidus treatment – Nephrogenic DI

The second most common type of DI is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. This type is caused by your kidneys not responding properly to ADH. Treatment may include following a low salt diet and increasing your water consumption.

The drug hydrochlorothiazide may help reduce symptoms. Interestingly, this drug is a diuretic, meaning it can be used to increase urination; however, in some patients with nephrogenic DI, it can reduce urine output.

Diabetes insipidus treatment – Gestational DI

Gestational diabetes insipidus occurs only during pregnancy and may correct itself with 4 to 6 weeks following delivery. Some cases can be helped by the synthetic hormone desmopressin used to treat neurogenic DI.

Diabetes insipidus treatment – Dipsogenic DI

Dipsogenic DI is most often caused by an abnormality in the part of the brain that regulates thirst. The medication desmopressin is not an option as it can lead to too much fluid build up in the body. This type of diabetes insipidus does not have a complete treated available.

The treatment of diabetes insipidus will depend on what type is diagnosed. If you notice any of the distinct symptoms of diabetes insipidus, especially the most common symptoms which include increased urination and thirst, see your doctor immediately.

Your doctor will test you to determine if the disease is present and if it is he or she will perform additional tests to determine the type that is present, which will determine the course of treatment.

(1) Diabetes Insipidus Foundation (2006). What is diabetes insipidus. Retrieved from http://www.diabetesinsipidus.org/whatisdi.htm


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