Central diabetes insipidus may be caused by an injury, a surgical intervention near the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, or even be caused by genetics. By being able to recognize the key signs and symptoms of this condition, early interventions can take place so that the symptoms can be appropriately managed and the interference with an individual’s lifestyle can be minimized. The symptoms of central diabetes insipidus may appear at any age. They may appear gradually or acutely.
This is the most common symptom of central diabetes insipidus. It is because the kidneys are waiting for the presence of an anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin to tell them to concentrate urine levels. That hormone never arrives, so the kidneys keep converting new fluids into urine and then pass it along to the bladder so it can be expelled. With up to 20 liters of urine being created during the day, dehydration can begin very quickly.
2. Excessive Urination
This common symptom is one of the most frequently cited bothersome issues that central diabetes insipidus creates. The kidneys will keep pulling fluids out of the bloodstream and refuse to concentrate urine because there isn’t enough of a hormone to tell them to do so. The excessive urination can change in levels from day to day depending on the production of vasopressin in the hypothalamus, so it is possible for some days to seem normal even when this condition is present.
This is typically caused by an overall lack of fluids within the body. This symptom is a signal that someone needs to consume more fluids. Headaches can also appear when fluids that contain stimulants, such as coffee with caffeine, are consumed when central diabetes insipidus is present. The dehydration headache often feels like a throbbing or pounding of the head that is accompanied by a dry mouth, scratchy throat, and potentially a reduced field of vision. Some individuals report feeling a “heat source” behind their eyes as well.
4. Low Blood Pressure
This symptom is also a result of having lower fluid levels within the body. An electrolyte imbalance may also be present that creates lower than normal levels of sodium or potassium, which further enhances this symptoms of central diabetes insipidus. This symptom may cause fainting in individuals when they stand up quickly because their circulation rates are unable to keep up with the sudden demands placed upon them. This is usually accompanied by a faster overall heartbeat, but may not be present in all instances.
If someone is unable to replace fluids that are being lost through excessive urination, then this may also increase sodium levels within the blood. This creates a condition where someone may experience high levels of confusion. Agitation and aggressiveness may also be associated with this central diabetes insipidus symptom. In severe cases, seizures have also been known to have occurred. If fluids can be consumed, the risk of this symptoms occurring can be dramatically reduced.
6. Changes in Alertness
Although sudden unconsciousness is extremely rare with central diabetes insipidus, there is a possibility that it may occur. Lightheadedness may also lead to fainting. The most common change in alertness, however, is a feeling of overwhelming fatigue, sleepiness, or general tiredness. Some people may also experience a generalized feeling of not being well at the same time this symptom is being experienced.
7. Weight Loss
The weight loss that may be experienced with central diabetes insipidus isn’t due to the burning of fat, but because of the increased amount of water that is being expelled from the body. The weight loss is almost always 100% water weight. If more than 5% of a person’s body weight is lost during the diagnostic process or at some point during the day, then a need for desmopressin or a vasopressin shot will be needed to help balance out the individual’s health.
If all of the other symptoms of central diabetes insipidus are left untreated, it is possible for a person to eventually develop shock. This is a medical emergency that requires immediate care because this symptom is life threatening in nature.
When the symptoms of central diabetes insipidus are properly treated, then it will not usually cause severe health problems. The risks of an early death due to this condition are also dramatically reduced. Manage the electrolyte balance, maintain proper fluid intake levels, and it will become possible to manage the signs and symptoms of central diabetes insipidus.