Central diabetes insipidus occurs because the body is lacking vasopressin, which is a key antidiuretic hormone that is internally produced. Because there is a lack of this hormone, the body produces larger than normal amounts of urine on a regular basis. The urine is very diluted as a result. Vasopressin is unique in the fact that the brain manufactures the hormone instead of a gland, but the pituitary gland will store it until it is needed.
There are a number of reasons why central diabetes insipidus may begin. It can be an inherited disorder, caused by other diseases or disorders, and even begin because of an unknown cause. Surgeries may cause this disorder, as can an aneurysm, and even certain forms of meningitis and encephalitis have been linked to central diabetes insipidus. Tumors, infections, and certain injuries may also cause this disorder to occur.
To treat this condition, the goal is to make sure the fluids that are being lost because of the diluted urine are replaced to prevent dehydration. Blood tests are often used to confirm the central diabetes insipidus diagnosis. There are also several additional treatment options that may be available as well.
What Are the Risk Factors of Central Diabetes Insipidus?
Anyone can develop central diabetes insipidus. A traumatic brain injury that affects the hypothalamus can be all it takes to have this condition develop. Certain imbalances that cause this condition may be more attributed to men than to women, but women who are carriers for this condition can pass along this trait to their children.
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are the two main issues which need to be addressed when this condition has been confirmed. This is especially true for individuals who are dealing with unusual fatigue, muscle pain, headaches, fever, and weight loss. Some people have sunken eyes and blood tests may indicate that there are high sodium levels.
Desmopressin Can Successfully Treat Central Diabetes Insipidus
One of the most common medications that is prescribed to treat central diabetes inspidius is desmopressin, which is a longer-acting form of the hormone the body produces naturally. It is available as a nasal spray, but also comes as a tablet for those who struggle to use sprays. Because the hormone promotes fluid retention, it is very possible for swelling and edema to begin with the first doses that are taken.
For most people, this synthetic hormone is effective and safe to take. For those who have an abnormality in the pituitary gland that is altering the levels of hormone that are being stored, then this issue must be treated first before the introduction of the synthetic hormone.
Desmopressin is generally considered a PRN medication, which means it should only be taken as needed. Most individuals don’t have a complete version of central diabetes insipidus, which means the amount of hormone that is produced and stored can vary from day to day. If too much desmopressin is taken, then low sodium levels, seizures, and confusion may result.
There Are Other Effective Medications as Well
Certain drugs are also known to stimulate the brain to produce more vasopressin. Carbamazepine, chlorpropamide, clofibrate, and a certain class of diuretics have shown to be successful in those who are struggling to control their central diabetes insipidus. If there are high levels of urine being expelled on a regular basis, however, these drugs may not be effective.
In mild cases, a medical provider may simply recommend that an individual increase their fluid intake to compensate for the loss of water that is happening. This may cause some individuals to consume nearly 30 liters of water per day. Ice cold water tends to be the best fluid intake option, but anything that doesn’t contain a diuretic can help to prevent dehydration from occurring.
If there is an underlying cause that is contributing to the central diabetes insipidus, then this must be treated as well for the condition to become manageable or to begin reversing some of the symptoms. When treated, this condition rarely causes severe problems or life-threatening conditions.
Are There Any Effective Home Remedies?
The goal of treating central diabetes insipidus from home is to prevent dehydration at all costs. This often means making sure that there is water or fluids to consume no matter where in the community someone happens to be. It is important to stock water in a vehicle, have spare medications in supply bags, and have spare money just in case either one of these items runs out for some reason over the course of the day.
Carrying a medical alert bracelet is also important. If jewelry isn’t preferred, then a medical alert card for the purse or wallet is a reasonable substitute. This will allow medical providers to appropriately recognize and then treat the central diabetes insipidus should a medical emergency occur.
Unfortunately there are no proven herbs or supplements that are clinically proven to treat the condition. For some individuals, if the symptoms of diabetes insipidus are not bothersome, then no home remedies may be necessary. Regular monitoring by a medical provider is always recommended, however, because this is the best way to treat the progression of this condition.
Some individuals report that taking a pantothenic acid supplement, which is Vitamin B5, has been able to help reduce the frequency of their urination. Switching to a low sodium diet may also prove to be beneficial. Some people have also reported success by taking over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs as this helps to reduce pressure on the hypothalamus.
What Is the Danger of Not Treating This Condition?
The primary danger in not treating central diabetes insipidus is the possibility for dehydration to occur. Some individuals may also notice an electrolyte imbalance beginning to occur. This happens when there are fewer fluids coming in than going out. Individuals who drink caffeinated products on a regular basis may find that their condition worsens instead of begins to get better.
An imbalance may also occur when someone is taking vasopressin to treat their condition, but are still consuming up to 30 liters of water every day. Water toxicity is a very real possibility for individuals who are used to treating their extreme thirst, but have supplemented their anti-diuretic hormones effectively with treatment.
If there is a treatable underlying condition that is causing the central diabetes insipidus, then it is the underlying condition that could have the most life-threatening consequences to a lack of treatment. This is especially true when there is a tumor or infection that has caused the issue. Simple antibiotics may solve the issue, but is the tumor contains a malignancy, an aggressive treatment plan may need to be developed.
Some people do not respond well to desmopressin or a vasopressin supplement. In these instances, fluid replacement and correcting the issue which caused the severe symptoms will become the top priority. Failing to treat a severe issue can result in potentially life-threatening consequences not from the central diabetes insipidus, but from the symptoms or other conditions that the diabetes insipidus creates without a treatment plan.
How To Prepare For Treatment
An appointment with a medical provider is necessary to begin developing a treatment plan that is specific to the severity of the central diabetes insipidus that is being experienced. Sometimes this treatment plan will be developed by a specialist, such as an endocrinologist, but some general practitioners may also have specific recommendations that they would like individuals to follow.
Before the treatment plan is developed, there may be certain restrictions that must be precisely followed so that a diagnosis can be achieved. It is also important to keep track of all symptoms that may be associated with central diabetes insipidus so that each symptom can receive the treatment it needs to become less bothersome. Key life changes, medical procedures, and a list of all current medications will also help to facilitate the treatment plan creation.
Will Central Diabetes Insipidus Go Away?
For those who have experienced central diabetes insipidus because of a surgical procedure or because of a head injury, the symptoms of excessive urination will typically become more mild or even completely resolve over time. Women who experienced diabetes insipidus during their pregnancy will usually see this condition resolve over the days and weeks after childbirth, although some mothers experience ongoing central diabetes insipidus with no known cause.
Outside of the potential of dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance, there are no serious health consequences that come from a diagnosis of central diabetes insipidus. There is no issue with blood sugar levels or the need to take insulin. There is simply a lack of vasopressin to encourage the kidneys to concentrate urine instead of allowing it to remain diluted.
For specific questions about a personal medical condition and how it may relate to an individualized history, a medical provider must be consulted. Only they can help determine which central diabetes insipidus treatment options may be the correct option to take.