Healthy Living

Diabetes Insipidus: It's Not About the Blood Sugar

Diabetes insipidus can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, dry mouth, low blood pressure, dehydration, and other side effects.

Diabetes insipidus can cause your body to retain too little water to function. You can become dehydrated and suffer the effects of dry mouth, low blood pressure or hypotension, elevated blood sodium or hypernatremia, fevers, headaches,  dry skin, dizziness, confusion and rapid heart rates.

You may also experience an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are minerals in your blood like sodium and potassium that keep the balance of fluids in your body in check. With an electrolyte imbalance, you might suffer fatigue or lethargy, loss of appetite, muscle cramps nausea or confusion.

Diabetes insipidus does not lead to dialysis or cause kidney issues. Your kidneys are still functioning and filtering your blood, but you will be prone to dehydration. To combat dehydration always have something to drink close to you. Fluids at hand are especially vital when you exercise, it's hot, or you are incredibly thirsty.

Controlling diabetes insipidus with medication and fluid intake.

You will be advised to drink plenty of fluids to replace the constant loss of water in your body. If you have central diabetes insipidus, there are medications like vasopressin (Pitressin) or desmopressin (DDAVP) that will help replace missing ADH. These medications come as nasal sprays.

Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is much more difficult to treat. The condition may be caused by a drug you are on and stopping this mediation will help.  Medications that can improve this type of diabetes insipidus symptoms are Indocin, Microzide and Moduretic 5-50.

Once you know what type of diabetes insipidus you have, you can control it with fluid intake, medications, and an awareness of your body. You may have to change your lifestyle somewhat and always have a bottle of water by your side. Do avoid caffeinated drinks, sugary sodas and fruit juices, and by all means, avoid alcohol.