What is Diabetes Insipidus?
Unlike other types of diabetes such as Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes Insipidus is a disease that is linked to the pituitary gland in the brain. When the word diabetes is mentioned most people will assume that we are speaking of Diabetes Mellitus (Sugar Diabetes). Diabetes Insipidus though is not caused by a lack of insulin or the lack of insulin regulation. Diabetes Insipidus happens when the pituitary gland does not make enough of the hormone ADH. Antidiuretic Hormone is needed to control the amount of water in the body. Diabetes Insipidus can be a serious or even fatal disease if not caught and treated. The treatment may be ongoing for the rest of your life.
What causes Diabetes Insipidus?
Like all forms of diabetes no one knows exactly what causes the actual disease however they do know that people that have had other problems are prime candidates to develop Diabetes Insipidus.
If you have or have had any of the following you may develop Diabetes Insipidus:
* A brain aneurysm which is a weak spot in a blood vessel causing the artery to balloon out much like a weak spot on a tire causes a "bulge"
* Any type of brain infection
* A Tumor of the brain
* A Tumor of the Pituitary Gland
* Compulsive, excessive fluid intake
* Bleeding inside the skull
* Family history of Diabetes Insipidus
* Head Injury that may cause damage to the Pituitary Gland
* Kidney Disease
* Surgery on the Pituitary Gland sometimes causes a temporary type that lasts about 14 days
If you have the following signs or symptoms, you should ask your physician to do further testing for possible Diabetes Insipidus:
* Dry skin, especially the hands.
* Passing large amounts of extremely clear urine
* Terrible thirst especially for cold or iced fluids
What is the treatment?
The treatment depends more on what appears to be causing the problem. This is one place where the allopathic medical community agrees with the naturopathic medical community. Remove the cause and you treat the disease. This is the underlying theme to most naturopathic treatments, where as the allopathic community is more a symptom treatment practice.
Depending on what may be causing the problem a person may be subjected to any or all of the following tests and or treatments:
- Complete medical history and exam
- Basic Blood and Urine tests
- Computerized Tomography scan (CT Scan)
- Daily weights to determine fluid loss or gain
- Dehydration test
- Intake and output measurements (I and O)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Surgery. If a tumor is involved you may need brain surgery to remove it.