Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus is similar to other manifestations of this disorder, especially in regards to neurogenic versions. It causes extreme thirst, which creates an increased fluid intake. This creates an excessive need to urinate because of the high fluid levels. It is characterized by low levels of vasopressin within the blood plasma and high levels of plasma osmolality.
Treating dipsogenic diabetes insipidus usually involves a diuretic therapy. What distinguishes this version of DI from others is that during the treatment period, the body’s need for water intake decreases less rapidly than the excretion of water from the body. Because of this, most patients who are being treated for dipsogenic diabetes insipidus will experience low sodium levels and a lack of water balance.
Response to vasopressin therapy is considered to be “relatively normal,” though most patients find that the threshold for release is at the upper end of the normal scale.
What Is the Primary Characteristic of Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus?
Diabetes insipidus involves a change in hormone production, either through damage or suppression of the ability to understand water levels in the body. An illness, tumor, or surgical procedure can cause central diabetes insipidus, while a defect in the kidney tubules can cause nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
For dipsogenic diabetes insipidus, there isn’t always a physical cause that is behind the ADH suppression that occurs. This is because the underlying cause of the condition originates from a prolonged excessive intake of fluids.
The consumption of excessive water or fluids on its own can damage the kidneys. When this occurs, it suppresses ADH and stops the body from being able to concentrate the urine.
Many cases of dipsogenic diabetes insipidus are linked to the formation of a mental illness. It is also known to occur when the thirst-regulating mechanism in the hypothalamus becomes damaged for some reason. Individuals who push fluids for an extended period of time can also cause this issue to occur.
What Are the Symptoms of Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus?
In adults, the most common symptoms of dipsogenic diabetes are extreme thirst, combined with excessive amounts of diluted urine. For the average adult, about 3 quarts of urine are produced over the course of 24 hours. With the presence of dipsogenic diabetes insipidus, more than 15 quarts of urine can be produced in a single day.
Unlike other forms of DI, however, dehydration is not a concern while the symptoms of the disorder are present. This is because dipsogenic diabetes insipidus causes the body to retain too much water.
This means the primary symptoms that people experience when suffering from this condition are related to electrolyte imbalances. The most common symptom that is experience involves lethargy or fatigue. It is very common to feel tired all of the time in addition to feeling thirsty all of the time.
Other symptoms may include nausea, not feeling hungry throughout the day, muscle cramps, and moments of confusion.
Children may experience different signs and symptoms if they are suffering from this condition. Parents, guardians, or caregivers may see children having trouble sleeping on a regular basis. This may be accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever. For infants, there may also be inconsolable crying or fussiness that is unexplained.
If the condition is left untreated for a prolonged period of time, delayed growth and weight loss are also possibilities.
How Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus Is Diagnosed and Treated
Diagnosing diabetes insipidus involves the same testing methods that are used for other forms of DI. This includes a water deprivation test under close medical supervision, urinalysis, or an MRI of the head to look for potential abnormalities that may be present.
In rare instances, there may also be a genetic cause that is contributing to the symptoms being experienced. If there is a family history of this condition, then a medical provider may suggest a genetic screening as part of the diagnostic effort.
Treating dipsogenic diabetes insipidus is a little different than other forms of DI as well, due to the excessive water intake that is occurring. In many instances, medication that encourages the body to expel the excessive fluids will be introduced. If there is a mental illness that is causing the DI to form, then treating it can also relieve the symptoms that are being experienced.
At the same time, a medical provider may also take regular blood tests to make sure that an electrolyte balance is maintained. Low sodium is a common outcome, but low potassium levels are also a possibility.
With treatment, dipsogenic diabetes insipidus symptoms can be reduced or eliminated. If you suspect this condition as an explanation for your current health needs, then contact your local medical provider to discuss this guide with them and what it may mean for you.