The kidneys have a very important job. They are responsible for filtering a person’s blood several times per day. When this happens, most of the water is absorbed into the body and a person’s urine is then concentrated so the excess wastes can be removed. When there is a diagnosis of diabetes insipidus [DI] present, the kidneys can no longer concentrate the urine. The end result is a large amount of diluted urine is expelled from the body.
Facts About Diabetes Insipidus
1. The prevalence rate of diabetes insipidus within the general population: 1 in 25,000 people.
2. The incidence rate of DI in the US: 1 in 6,666.
3. Central diabetes insipidus is slightly more common than nephrogenic diabetes inspidus.
4. Recent literature indicates 30% of central diabetes insipidus cases to be idiopathic, 25% related to malignant or benign tumors of the brain or pituitary, 16% secondary to head trauma, and 20% following cranial surgery.
5. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure in the United States.
6. Milder forms of diabetes insipidus can be managed by drinking enough water, usually between 2 and 2.5 liters a day.
7. 1 in 3 cases of central DI have no obvious reason behind why the hypothalamus stops making enough antidiuretic hormone to have water reabsorbed.
8. Lithium is the most common medication to cause nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
9. Gestational DI occurs only during pregnancy and results when an enzyme made by the placenta destroys ADH in the mother.
10. The symptoms of DI are similar to those of Type 2 Diabetes, so a misdiagnosis in the initial staging of the disorder is common.
11. Scientists have not yet discovered an effective treatment for dipsogenic DI, which is caused by a defect in the thirst mechanism.
12. Doctors must determine which type of DI is involved before proper treatment can begin.
13. Fewer than 15 per 100,000 hospitalized patients are diagnosed with diabetes insipidus.
14. 40,800. That’s the number of people in the United States who are diagnosed with this condition in the United States every year.
15. The amount of time between restroom breaks for someone with a DI diagnosis: 1-2 hours.
16. Excessive thirst is the most common symptom of diabetes insipidus being present in the body.
17. In severe cases, a person can pass up to 20 liters of urine in a single day.
There are four forms of this rather uncommon condition: central, dipsogenic, gestational, and nephrogenic. The two most common forms are central and nephrogenic. Central diabetes insipidus occurs when the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus has been damaged in some way. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus occurs when there is some kind of defect with the kidneys themselves. Genetic issues, injuries, kidney disease, medication, or even high levels of calcium have all been known to trigger this condition.
When the underlying cause of the condition can be found, diabetes insipidus is not life threatening. That’s why it is important to have as much information about it as possible.
DI Sounds Scarier Than It Really Is
It is important to note that DI does not lead to the need for dialysis or kidney failure. The kidneys are still filtering the blood. The biggest health issue with diabetes insipidus is dehydration. Most people with DI can continue living a normal life.
Even so, it is still a scary diagnosis, but DI is much less serious than other forms of diabetes. The most important way to treat the disorder is to make sure there enough water being consumed on a regular basis. The body expels water because it can’t reabsorb it, so drinking fluids consistently will replace those that are lost.
The names are similar and so are the symptoms, but diabetes that affects insulin and DI are not related. If you, a family member, or other associate are finding that there is a need to pass urine more than 7x per day, then a visit to the doctor may be necessary. If children are needing to urinate more than 10x per day, then seeking medical advice about the condition is recommended.
It’s not your fault if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes insipidus. You do need to take action to make sure good health can be maintained. If there is central DI suspected, then there may be a serious health condition to discover as well, such as a brain tumor or an infection. That’s why knowing these diabetes insipidus statistics is so important.