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Diabetes Insipidus

How Is It Diagnosed?

Because diabetes mellitus is more common and because diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus have similar symptoms, a healthcare provider may suspect that a person with diabetes insipidus has diabetes mellitus. However, testing should make the diagnosis clear. These tests include urinalysis and a fluid deprivation test.
 
Urinalysis
Urinalysis is the physical and chemical examination of urine. The urine of a person with diabetes insipidus will be less concentrated. Therefore, the salt and waste concentrations are low and the amount of water excreted is high. A physician evaluates the concentration of urine by measuring how many particles are in a kilogram of water (osmolality) or by comparing the weight of the urine to an equal volume of distilled water (specific gravity).
 
Fluid Deprivation Test
A fluid deprivation test helps determine whether diabetes insipidus is caused by:
 
  • Excessive intake of fluid
  • A defect in ADH production
  • A defect in the kidneys' response to ADH.
     
This test measures changes in body weight, urine output, and urine composition when fluids are withheld. Sometimes, measuring blood levels of ADH during this test is also necessary.
 
In some people with possible diabetes insipidus symptoms, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the brain may be necessary as well.
 

Treatment for Diabetes Insipidus

A specialist should determine which form of diabetes insipidus is present before starting any treatment plan.
 
Treatment for Central Diabetes Insipidus
To treat the ADH deficiency that results from any kind of damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary, a synthetic hormone called desmopressin can be taken by an injection, a nasal spray, or a pill.
 
While taking desmopressin for central diabetes insipidus, you should drink fluids or water only when you are thirsty and not at other times. This is because the drug prevents water excretion, and water can build up now that your kidneys are making less urine and are less responsive to changes in body fluids.
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Information about Diabetes Insipidus

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