Diabetes Insipidus Diagnosis – Zeroing In On The Condition

Diabetes insipidus is a medical condition in which the kidneys are unable to retain water in the body. This condition affects adults as well as children. Diabetes insipidus diagnosis is based on the observation of the clinical diabetes insipidus symptoms and the results of laboratory tests.

diabetes inspidus diagnosis

Frequent and excessive thirst is noted as an important symptom in diabetes insipidus diagnosis.

Diabetes Insipidus Diagnosis – The Types Of The Condition

Diabetes insipidus diagnosis may reveal either a case of central diabetes insipidus or nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, based on the activity of ADH. ADH or Anti Dieuretic Hormone, also known as vassopressin, controls the amount of water conserved by the body.

Central diabetes insipidus can be the result of a deficiency of ADH, while nephrogenic diabetes insipidus usually results when the kidneys do not function properly in response to ADH. Sometimes it may also be a result of the use of drugs like Lithium and Amphotericin B.

Diabetes Insipidus Diagnosis – The Symptoms Experienced

Here is a list of symptoms a person with diabetes insipidus may experience.

  • Polyuria

    The person may pass excess urine, which is often colorless. The amount of urine passed can range from 3 liters in mild cases to up to 20 liters in severe cases. The frequency of urination is as high as 15-20 minutes.

  • Polydipsia

    He may feel excessively thirsty and dehydrated despite drinking lots of water frequently.

  • Disturbed Sleep Pattern

    The person may have trouble sleeping, as he frequently feels the urge to urinate. This results in a disturbed sleep pattern and drowsiness during daytime.

  • Fatigue

    Due to the disturbed sleep pattern, he may feel tired all the time and also experience difficulty in carrying out routine activities. This can also lead to irritability and a loss of concentration.

  • Malaise

    A person with diabetes insipidus can end up feeling vaguely unwell most of the time for no apparent reason.

Diabetes Insipdus Diagnosis – Additional Symptoms In Children

It is quite challenging to identify the symptoms of diabetes insipidus in children, as most of them cannot express their symptoms. Diabetes insipidus diagnosis becomes twice as difficult in children who have not learnt to speak. In such cases, parents can make the diagnosis easier by looking for the following symptoms in their child.

  • The child continues to cry persistently, even after he has been fed, and without the presence of any previously diagnosed medical problems
  • The sleep pattern of the child is disturbed and the child appears frequently irritable
  • The child is not gaining weight with age as expected and instead has weight loss
  • He frequently contracts infections and fever
  • The child wets the bed despite being at a sufficiently advanced age
  • He gets tired easily and frequently

Laboratory Tests Involved In Diabetes Insipidus Diagnosis

  • The estimation of urinary electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, and calcium
  • The measurement of serum osmolality
  • The observation of specific gravity on the first morning void of urine (low in cases of diabetes insipidus)
  • 24 hour urine collection (urine volume is higher than normal in cases of diabetes mellitus)
  • The measurement of urinary and blood glucose to differentiate diabetes insipidus from diabetes mellitus
  • The testing of the serum creatinine to evaluate the possibility of other kidney diseases
diagnosis of diabetes insipidus

An observation of a constant sense of fatigue and malaise can help in the diagnosis of diabetes insipidus.

Children with diabetes insipidus may suffer from continued weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea if the condition is left untreated. If an adult with the condition has not been treated, he can still remain healthy as long as he compensates for the persistent loss of water from the body. But he always carries the risk of dehydration. A loss of potassium can also occur in such cases. It is best to seek timely diabetes insipidus diagnosis and subsequent treatment for the condition to ensure optimal health.


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