What I Need to Know About Diabetes Insipidus and Urine?

A lot of people know of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, the name has nothing to do with blood sugar. Diabetes is a term for any condition that causes excess amounts of urine to be produced (Dansinger, 2016). Why is this important?

There is a rare condition called diabetes insipidus. According to the Mayo Clinic, Diabetes insipidus is “an uncommon disorder that causes an imbalance of water in the body” (Mayo Clinic, 2016).

Due to the imbalances of water, it leads to two things, polydipsia and polyuria. Polydipsia is an intense thirst even after drinking several liquids. This also can lead to polyuria, which is an “excretion of large amounts of urine” (Mayo Clinic, 2016).

The kidneys normally pass 1 to 2 quarts of urine on an average day. However, people with diabetes insipidus can pass between 3 to 20 quarts a day (Young, 2015). The urine is normally insipid, which means colorless and odorless.

Since the person is urinating so frequently, this causes the intense thirst in order to keep up with the large amounts of excretion.

People who have diabetes insipidus have normal blood sugar levels. There kidneys are having a problem balancing different fluids throughout the body.

The kidneys are located underneath the rib cage, one on each side of your spinal cord (Young, 2015). According to Young, the body normally filters through 120 to 150 quarts of blood every day, and it produces an average of 1 to 2 quarts of urine when there are no issues (Young, 2015). The body releases waste products and extra fluids.

Urine is stored in the bladder. When emptied, the liquid flows out of the body through the urethra (Young, 2015).

The body is able to balance fluids by monitoring intake and removing any extra liquids. Thirst is the normal controller of a person’s intake of liquids. People can lose liquids through sweat, diarrhea, and breathing. However, urination is the main way that liquids are released from the body.

A hormone named vasopressin controls the “fluid removal rate” through urination (Young, 2015). This is produced by the hypothalamus. The pituitary gland releases the vasopressin into the bloodstream when the body is low on fluids.

Young states, “vasopressin signals the kidneys to absorb less fluid from the bloodstream, resulting in less urine” (Young, 2015).

When the body has too many fluids, the pituitary gland releases less vasopressin. Sometimes, it will release none at all. This causes the kidneys to filter out more fluids in the body, producing more urine.

There are four types of diabetes insipidus. There are central, nephrogenic, dipsogenic, and gestational. All four types have a different cause (Young, 2015).

There are several concerns with this condition. The main one is dehydration.

Dehydration can cause permanent brain damage, seizures, and death (Young, 2015). Therefore, it is extremely important to talk to a doctor right away if you are struggling.

Seek immediate medical attention if you believe that you have diabetes insipidus. There is currently not a cure, but there are several treatments.

Bibliography

Dansinger, M. (2016). What is diabetes insipidus?. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/what-is-diabetes-insipidus#1

Mayo Clinic Staff (2016). Diabetes insipidus. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes-insipidus/home/ovc-20182403

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.