Diabetes insipidus is caused by the kidneys not balancing fluids in the body properly. They will produce more urine, 3-20 quarts a day (Young, 2015). This will cause extreme thirst for people that suffer from this condition.
There are four main types of diabetes insipidus. They are central, nephrogenic, dipsogenic, and gestational.
According to Young, “Central diabetes insipidus happens when damage to a person’s hypothalamus or pituitary gland causes disruptions in the normal production, storage, and release of vasopressin” (Young, 2015).
To explain more in depth, vasopressin is the chemical that tells the kidneys to filter less fluids. When vasopressin is present, the kidneys will produce less urine. However, when it is absent, the kidneys will filter more blood causing more urine.
If the hypothalamus or pituitary gland are damaged, this will cause the body to not produce the amount of vasopressin needed. This will lead to frequent urination.
Young states that the hypothalamus or pituitary gland can be damaged by surgery, infections, inflammation of the brain, tumors, or head injuries that impact the brain.
The cause is not always known with central diabetes insipidus. Sometimes, the cause is a genetic defect with the vasopressin hormone. However, that is rare.
The second type is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, NDI. This condition is caused by the kidneys not reacting properly to the hormone, vasopressin. The kidneys will go on then to remove too much fluid from the bloodstream, producing more urine.
Young states, “nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can result from inherited gene changes, or mutations, that prevent the kidneys from responding to vasopressin” (Young, 2015). However, there are a few other ways you can develop NDI.
You can have chronic kidney disease, causing the body not to read hormones properly. Some medications can cause the development of NDI as well. If you have low amounts of potassium inside of your bloodstream, you can also develop it.
If you have higher than normal amounts of calcium inside of your blood, you are more at risk of developing NDI. Finally, if you have a blockage inside of your urinary tract, you are at risk of getting this condition.
Just like with central diabetes insipidus, the causes of NDI can go unknown.
The third type is dipsogenic diabetes insipidus, DDI. A person can develop DDI by having a defect inside of the hypothalamus with their thirst mechanism (Young, 2015). This defect causes you to be thirsty more, which suppresses the amounts of vasopressin released.
If you are drinking more, then you will have to urinate more frequently. Just like central diabetes insipidus, DDI can be caused by surgery, infections, inflammation, tumors, and head injuries that impact the hypothalamus (Young, 2015).
Medications and mental health issues can also give people a predisposition to develop this condition.
Finally, there is gestational diabetes insipidus, GDI. Like gestational diabetes, GDI only develops during pregnancy. Sometimes, an enzyme can break down the vasopressin, not allowing it to communicate properly with the kidneys.
Some chemicals produced during pregnancy can also lower the mother’s vasopressin sensitivity.
GDI normally goes unnoticed and is very mild. Most of the times, it goes away after pregnancy (Young, 2015).
Overall, there are four types of diabetes insipidus. It is best to stay in tune with your health, so that you can seek a doctor if you start suffering from extreme thirst and frequent urination.
Young, B. (2015). Diabetes insipidus. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/diabetes-insipidus