Diabetes Inspidus

Overview of Diabetes Inspidus

Diabetes Insipidus is a rare disorder in which your hormones that keep water in balance are disturbed. Although there is no specific cure for DI but through treatment symptoms can subside.

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes Inspidus

Diabetes Insipidus (DI) (ذیابیطس شکری) is the type of diabetes that is related to your kidney’s malfunctioning. In this condition, your kidney becomes unable to conserve water and your urge to drink water and urinate is increased. A patient of DI urinates frequently and passes between 3 and 20 quarts a day.
You can’t confuse diabetes Insipidus (DI) with diabetes mellitus, which is simply diabetes and occurs more often. It is a rare disorder that disturbed the hormones regulating water balance in your body. Although there is no specific cure for DI but through treatment symptoms can subside.

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Types of Diabetes Inspidus

Some common signs and symptoms of DI are:

  • Severe thirst
  • Urinate a lot (your doctor might call this polyuria)
  • Getting up to go a lot at night
  • Preference for cold drinks
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Muscle pains
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea

Causes of Diabetes Inspidus

Causes of DI varies with the type:

Central Diabetes Insipidus: This type of DI is due to vasopressin disturbance. This is the peptide hormone produced by your hypothalamus or pituitary gland. It regulates the body’s ability to retain water. It is also known as Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH).

ADH balance is disturbed when the hypothalamus or pituitary gland is damaged. It results in the loss of too much liquid from the body in the form of urine. This damage occurs due to the following reasons:

  • Tumour
  • Head injury
  • Blocked or bulging artery (aneurysm)
  • Diseases such as Langerhans cell histiocytosis
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Surgery

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus: If your Kidney becomes unable to respond to ADH and remove a large amount of water from the blood it results in “Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus”.
Doctors are unable to know the exact reason but some include:

  • A blocked urinary tract
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High levels of calcium in your blood
  • Low levels of potassium in your blood
  • Some medications, like lithium

Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus: It is also called “primary polydipsia”. This occurs when you can’t control your thirst. When you drink a lot of water, it results in a decrease in the ADH level and you frequently urinate. It can be due to damage to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland by:

  • Tumour
  • Head injury
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Surgery

Gestational diabetes insipidus: Gestational diabetes insipidus is a rare condition. It affects pregnant women. During pregnancy, an enzyme released by the placenta destroys the vasopressin hormone in the mother.

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Some common risk factors associated with the occurrence of diabetes insipidus are:

  •  Genetics
  •  Head tumours
  •  Pituitary disorders
  •  Hypothalamic injury
  •  Hypercalcemia
  •  Amyloidosis
  •  Lithium use
  •  Pregnancy
  •  Sickle cell disease
  • Health-Related Complications of Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes insipidus can lead to

  • Dry mouth due to dehydration
  • Changes in skin elasticity
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Electrolyte imbalance (sodium and potassium)


In most cases diabetes insipidus is a permanent condition. You likely will not be able to prevent it. Most of the time, this is associated with some other disease or health issue. However, effective measures for the primary prevention of diabetes insipidus include:

  • Reduction of salt intake
  • Avoidance of lithium and other drugs that can affect kidneys in any way.

Treatment of Diabetes Inspidus | When to Consult a Doctor

After an initial consultation, your doctor may suggest you undergo some diagnostic tests such as:

  • Urinalysis: The level of salts and waste will be estimated in your urine sample. If you have DI the concentration of water in your urine will be high while the concentration of other wastes will be below.
  • Water Deprivation Test: Your doctor will ask you to stop drinking liquid for a certain period before this test. After which following changes will be measured:
  • Blood sodium and osmolality levels
  • Bodyweight
  • Urine output
  • Urine composition
  • ADH blood levels
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI test is performed to locate any damage in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland by using radio waves or magnets. This test is important because any damage and injury to the hypothalamus can affect the release of hormones that regulate water balance in your body.
  • Genetic Screening: It is performed to check if you have a family history in DI.

Doctors to treat Diabetes Inspidus

Last updated on Thursday 08/12/2022


Dr. Ehsan Ashraf Makki

General Physician, Diabetologist | MD , Diplomate Diabetis

Dr. Makki Diabetic CenterRs 2000


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Highly Recommended


Dr. Tashbeeb Gulzar

Nephrologist | MBBS, MD

National Hospital & Medical CenterRs 3000

Hameed Latif HospitalRs 3000


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Dr. is excellent. Highly recommended.


Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Riaz

Nephrologist | MBBS, FCPS

Iqra Medical ComplexRs 2500


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Highly Recommended

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