Diabetes insipidus hypernatremia happens regularly because of the amount of water that is typically lost with this condition. With the excessive thirst and urination from diabetes insipidus that occurs, hypernatremia happens when there isn’t enough fluid intake happening to replace the fluids that are lost during urination. If the imbalance is left untreated for a long enough period of time, then the cells of the body may begin to shrink and this may cause a brain injury.
Having water volume loss may also cause problems with circulation, including low blood pressure, that may lead to other potential health issues. Regular testing of sodium levels, in addition to consuming enough fluids, can often be enough to prevent diabetes insipidus hypernatremia from occurring.
What Are the Risk Factors for Diabetes Insipidus Hypernatremia?
The most common reason for diabetes insipidus hypernatremia to occur is because of a lack of vasopressin. In the nephrogenic version of this disorder, there are also disease and genetic risk factors that may cause the sodium imbalance. Recent surgical procedures, co-existing diseases, or something as simple as a urinary tract infection with a blockage may also cause the development of hypernatremia.
Severe dehydration is also a risk factor for diabetes insipidus hypernatremia. Those who have an active lifestyle need to have water access with them at all times to make sure fluid levels remain where they should be. Consuming products that contain caffeine or recreational drugs like Ecstasy may enhance the hypernatremia when it occurs.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus Hypernatremia?
One of the primary symptoms of diabetes insipidus hypernatremia is an increased amount of thirst. Because there is already increased thirst associated with the underlying condition, however, this symptom may not ever be noticed. That’s why the first symptoms that may be noticed happen after brain dysfunction due to the high sodium levels has already occurred.
How the high sodium levels interfere with brain functionality can vary from person to person. Some people may experience delays in thought or confusion. They may forget why they entered a room for some reason or not be able to recall certain details from their short-term memory. Others may have ongoing muscle twitching that is involuntary in nature and could be painful at times that occur at all hours of the day, even when the muscles are at rest.
Seizures may also result if sodium levels are profoundly high. Coma is also a possibility, even when being treated for the high sodium levels. If continued to be left untreated, hypernatremia can even lead to life threatening consequences. This is why it is so important to pay attention for these signs and symptoms if a diagnosis of diabetes insipidus has been received.
How Is Diabetes Insipidus Hypernatremia Treated?
Correcting the sodium imbalance depends on how quickly the high sodium levels occurred. When diabetes insipidus hypernatremia occurs in an acute manner, then the correction of that high sodium level should occur just as rapidly. If the condition occurs over a prolonged period of time that exceeds 2 days, however, then the correction should be done in an equally slow fashion.
If caused by a tumor or other treatable cause, then the hypernatremia may resolve on its own when the damaging element is removed.
The issue is how the body reacts to the changing fluid levels. When sodium levels are immediately lowered after they have built up over time, then water levels can build up around the brain and put pressure on it. Brain cells are unable to absorb the additional water and this can create permanent neurological deficits.
Restoring sodium levels with diabetes insipidus hypernatremia typically involves increasing fluid intake levels. Because urination may peak at 20 liters over the course of a day, an equal amount of fluids must also be consumed to maintain electrolyte levels. Dietary issues will also be considered and a low-sodium diet may be recommended.
The issue with diabetes insipidus hypernatremia is that it can sometimes be caused by medications that are needed for better health. In this instance, the high sodium levels may be treated while the medication causing the levels is continued. Consuming more fluids or managing diuretic use can typically help in this situation, but may not be guaranteed to work.
Diabetes insipidus hypernatremia is rather common and is generally an indication that fluid replacement efforts are not working as they should. By altering a treatment plan to account for this electrolyte imbalance, it may become possible to restore a balance over time so that a happy, fulfilling life can still be experienced.