For most patients with diabetes insipidus, treatment often involves a few lifestyle changes and the regular consumption of fluids to prevent dehydration. Each patient will be given a customized treatment plan when this disease is diagnosed and it will be based on the type of diabetes insipidus that is present. From there, frequent monitoring of the condition is often necessary to maintain an active lifestyle.
All patients should continue to exercise, enjoy sporting activities, and live life to its fullest. Just have fluids available at all times to replenish that extra water that will be removed because of the body’s lack of response to the hormone Vasopressin. In general, however, these are the general treatment profiles for each type of diabetes insipidus.
If you are seeking a diabetes insipidus treatment, you may qualify for a medical exemption certificate depending on your location and health care plan. Check with your health insurance company or medical provider for what may be available for you.
How To Treat Central Diabetes Insipidus
In this version of diabetes insipidus, there is a lack of Vasopressin in the body because of an injury to the pituitary gland. Sometimes a problem with the hypothalamus may also cause a lack of Vasopressin within the blood stream. To counter this problem, endocrinologists will typically order injections of a synthetic hormone called Desmopressin to support the body’s natural functioning for immediate support.
Injections to treat central diabetes insipidus do not occur forever. They are simply used to “kickstart” the body. Desmopressin is typically taken as an oral tablet or through a nasal spray. When enough of the hormone is present, the need to urinate more frequently than normal disappears. It is considered a PRN medication [as needed] because Vesopressin deficiencies are variable. Taking too much Desmopressin can be dangerous as it promotes too much water retention, which lowers sodium levels and can even lead to seizures.
If the symptoms of central diabetes insipidus are mild, an endocrinologist may recommend pushing fluids only and setup an ongoing evaluation of the condition.
How To Treat Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
The issue with this type of diabetes insipidus is that the body doesn’t actually know what to do with the Vasopressin that is being produced. The kidneys don’t respond as they should to the hormone, which means treating it with additional hormones won’t be beneficial. Lifestyle changes are the most common method of treating this form of the disease.
A nutritionist will be brought onto the treatment team and a low-salt diet will be designed around your specific needs. Enough water will need to be consumed to avoid dehydration and caffeinated products will need to be eliminated from the diet in most instances.
Sometimes the drug hydrochlorothiazide will be prescribed to treat nephrogenic diabetes insipidus as well. This is because it will decrease urine outputs, even though it actually acts as a diuretic. It does not work in every person who takes it, however, so it is often ordered for severe symptoms only.
If symptoms are bothersome and cannot be reduced, then the drug indomethacin has been shown to be effective at improving symptoms. Thiazide diuretics may also be used.
If there are medications that may be causing the condition, the treatment team will need to weigh the advantages of taking the drugs to the disadvantages of dealing with diabetes insipidus. This is taken on a case by base basis. Do not stop any medications that have been ordered without first speaking with a doctor.
How To Treat Gestational Diabetes Insipidus
For women who are pregnant and have developed the gestational version of this disease, the most common form of treatment is to incorporate Desmopressin on a PRN basis. In very rare cases, the gestational cause is linked to an abnormality that develops during pregnancy with the mother’s thirst mechanisms. If this is the case, then the synthetic hormones will not be prescribed and lifestyle changes will be recommended.
How To Treat Dispogenic Diabetes Insipidus
There are no specific treatments that will help to treat this version of diabetes insipidus. The overall goal is to decrease the amount of fluids that a person feels like they need to drink in order to feel satisfied. If there is an underlying mental illness that is causing this condition, then the focus of treatment will be on the mental illness instead of the symptoms of diabetes insipidus.
Some medications may be prescribed to reduce the feelings of thirst that are being felt. This is taken on a case by case basis and is usually only recommended in severe cases. Habit changes, correcting thinking pattern errors, and CBT therapy may all be examined as viable treatment options as well.
Are There Home Remedies For Diabetes Insipidus?
The primary way to treat diabetes insipidus at home is to prevent dehydration as often as possible. Whether taking medication or not, there will be times when thirst will appear. If there are fluids present that can quench that thirst, then it will become possible to prevent most serious problems that could develop from the disease.
Here are a few ways that you can prevent dehydration from happening right now so that diabetes insipidus won’t be able to take control in the future.
1. Make sure that there is always enough water stocked in the house for 1 week in case an emergency should occur.
2. Carry water with you wherever you may go in case thirst decides to strike and there isn’t a store nearby.
3. Keep supplies of any prescribed medications with you at all times in your travel bag, school bag, or purse.
It is also important to order a medical alert bracelet once diabetes insipidus has been diagnosed. This will alert professionals to your condition should you suffer a medical emergency for some reason.
Women who are diagnosed with the gestational version of diabetes insipidus may be asked to start a prenatal vitamin or change their vitamin intake to prevent electrolyte imbalances from occurring.
There are no known herbs or supplements that have been found to be clinically effective in the treatment of diabetes insipidus. It is just important to avoid diuretics unless specifically described by a doctor for treatment of the condition.
Some people with diabetes insipidus have reported, however, that there are certain homeopathic remedies that they have found which have helped to make them feel better.
A plaster that includes belladonna is placed across a person’s loins while 10-15 drops of belladonna are added to water and consumed. This is taken every three hours.
This is given in 15-20 drop doses every six hours and is said to help reduce the frequent urination that occurs.
This fungi is said to also help in preventing symptoms, but must be taken every hour in order to be effective.
Are There Any Treatment Side Effects?
Most people who receive treatment for diabetes insipidus will experience no side effects. The most common side effects that do appear are nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
For those who are taking Desmopressin, having too much of this synthetic hormone in the body can create specific side effects. Low sodium levels are the most dangerous side effect, which may cause confusion, vomiting, and a very severe and prolonged headache. Stop taking Desmopressin immediately if possible and seek emergency treatment.
For those who are taking thiazide diuretics, the urine becomes more concentrated and so it has more waste products contained within it. This may cause indigestion, sensitive skin, and men may see periodic impotence. The side effects from thiazide diuretics are usually temporary.
Some people may be ordered to take NSAID medications like ibuprofen in conjunction with their thiazide diuretics. It helps to reduce overall urine volumes for a reason that is not known, but prolonged NSAID use can cause stomach ulcers.
Does Diabetes Insipidus Need To Be Treated?
Because the biggest risk of diabetes insipidus is either dehydration or electrolyte imbalances, there is no specific medical need to treat the condition if the symptoms are not bothersome. People who are not bothered by this disease should still be regularly seen by a doctor for monitoring purposes, even if they are effectively managing the condition on their own.
Diabetes insipidus does not lead to kidney damage. People who do not take medication for this condition do not have a higher risk of requiring dialysis in the future.
Treating diabetes insipidus is ultimately a personal decision. As with any medical condition, it is recommended to seek out help right away if this disease is suspected. If you decide to take medication, then monitor for side effects and report bothersome or life-threatening issues immediately. If you decide to not treat diabetes insipidus, then manage your lifestyle so that dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are less likely to occur.
Diabetes insipidus can be bothersome at times, but it doesn’t increase future health risks when properly managed. Find the right treatment plan and then stick to it to achieve the best possible results.