Let’s debunk the common belief that consuming sugar can lead to diabetes. However, excess quantities of sugar and calorie intake can cause overweight and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic health condition impacting your body’s ability to turn food into energy. It occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than accepted levels of approximately 90 to 130 mg/dL (5.0 to 7.2 mmol/L) for adults. That being said, most people confuse diabetes with diabetes insipidus. Primarily, type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is the most common type, present in 90-95% of people. But diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that affects the normal functioning of the kidneys. Even though the blood glucose levels remain low, the kidneys often fail to concentrate urine. There are two similarities between type 2 diabetes and insipidus, namely, both increase thirst and urination frequencies. As stated, diabetes insipidus is extremely rare, usually found in 1 out of 25,000 people worldwide.
Some of the early diabetes insipidus symptoms would be weight loss, vomiting, fever, bed-wetting, and heavy flow of pale urine.
Since this health condition is rare, let’s dive deeper to understand how one can prevent such diabetes type from ever occurring.
Diabetes insipidus has recently been rechristened as Arginine Vasopressin Deficiency to eliminate confusion pertaining to treatments, wrongful diagnosis, and detrimental health consequences as a result. This rare disorder increases urination frequency and quantity to approximately 20 quarts of urine a day compared to the normal 1 to 3 quarts of urine. Unlike other diabetes types, this one doesn’t increase the blood glucose level. Instead, the kidney function is severely disrupted.
The malfunctioning of a certain chemical, Vasopressin, causes this type of diabetes in the body. It is also known as Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH). ADH, responsible for supporting kidneys in maintaining the balance of the amount of fluid stored in the body, is actually produced by the hypothalamus. The latter is the part of the brain controlling mood, appetite, and thirst. Therefore, diabetes insipidus causes dehydration and an increase in thirst frequency.
There are primarily four types of diabetes insipidus, each is unique respective of causes and symptoms:
Central Diabetes Insipidus
Central diabetes insipidus is also known as neurogenic diabetes insipidus. This is considered one of the common forms occurring in both males and females regardless of age. The inadequate release of vasopressin chemical is held responsible, arising due to surgery, head injury, an infection or a tumor. All of the mentioned possibilities could easily damage the hypothalamus or posterior pituitary gland. Hence, the disruption compels the kidneys to eradicate too much fluid from the body, leading to an increase in urination.
Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is another aftermath of the kidney’s failure to respond to vasopressin chemical. The symptom is similar: a continuous excretion of fluid from the bloodstream. However, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can occur from inherited gene changes or mutations preventing the kidneys from responding normally to vasopressin. Other causes would be:
1. chronic kidney disease
2. Low potassium levels in the blood
3. High calcium levels in the blood
4. A blockage of the urinary tract
5. Certain medications (like lithium)
Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus
Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus, commonly known as primary polydipsia, impairs the thirst mechanism in the hypothalamus. As a result, the chances of an abnormal increase in thirst and liquid intake are high, eventually suppressing the vasopressin section and increasing urine output. Surgery, inflammation, a tumor or a head injury are responsible for this type of diabetes to occur. Certain medications or mental health are other causal effects to watch out for.
Gestational Diabetes Insipidus
Gestational diabetes insipidus commonly occurs during pregnancy when the enzyme in the placenta breaks down the mother’s vasopressin. Other instances include a pregnant woman producing more prostaglandin, which reduces chemical sensitivity to vasopressin. The symptoms often go unnoticed, and, in most cases, the condition dissipates after the mother delivers the baby.
Even though diabetes insipidus symptoms are common among both males and females, a few signs might differ depending on the age of the patient.
Two of the frequently observed symptoms, uniform in most types of diabetes, are:
1. Extreme thirst and dehydration
2. Excess amount of diluted urine excretion
In rare cases, bedwetting can be a matter of concern for many patients. On the other hand, infants and young children are reported to have developed diabetes insipidus at an early age. Their symptoms are strikingly different from those of the aged patients, and include:
1. Trouble sleeping
2. Unexplained fussiness
3. Weight loss
4. Delayed growth
5. Excessively wet diapers
10. Inconsolable crying
Other symptoms associated with one or two primary signs would be:
1. Excessive thirst
2. Dry skin
9. Permanent brain damage
As stated earlier, the main complication of diabetes insipidus is excessive dehydration. This increases the body’s requirement for more fluids, like water, leading to excessive urination and other dehydration-related ailments. Apart from that electrolyte imbalance is another significant complication.
Electrolytes are essential body chemicals, like sodium and potassium, involved with vital operations. These chemicals regulate heartbeat, allowing muscle contractions for mobility. Electrolytes are present in bodily fluids, including urine, blood and sweat. Any plausible imbalance would result in severe disorders, including dysfunction of muscles. A few common types of issues would be:
1. Muscle aches, spasms or cramps
3. Frequent headaches
4. Feeling thirsty
6. Joint pain
8. Digestive issues
9. Irregular heartbeats
11. Changes in appetite or body weight
One of the conventional diabetes insipidus treatments would be preventing excessive dehydration in the body. This can be easily managed by drinking a sufficient amount of water or any other healthy fluid throughout the day. However, care should be taken to ensure that juices do not increase your blood glucose levels further. Preferably, consult a doctor and get a complete list of fruits you can consume as a potential patient.
It can also be treated with proper medications to support the crucial chemical in the body, vasopressin. However, certain medications can have a negative impact on the body; hence, again, medical consultation is mandatory.
Apart from water and medications, there are a few homemade remedies to follow that can help reduce the impact of this type of diabetes on the body.
1. Switch your diet to nutrient-dense whole foods
2. Add plentiful water-heavy fruits and vegetables
3. Keep the electrolytes well-balanced
4. Ensure your mouth is well-moisture
5. Consult a doctor for a change in medication
In general, a well-balanced diet can always help diabetic patients keep their blood glucose levels under check. Healthy eating is anyway most recommended by experts and dieticians, ensuring the overall well-being of your body while keeping ailments at bay. For diabetic patients, it is more important because a sudden rise or drop in blood sugar levels could spell a life-threatening disaster for them.
A healthy diet can ensure the following:
1. Maintain good health in general
2. Effectively manage blood glucose levels
3. Maintain blood lipid (fat) levels as per standards
4. Regulate blood pressure
5. Keep a healthy body weight
6. Prevent or possibly reduce diabetes complications
For a diabetes insipidus diet, food with less salt and protein content can help your Kidneys function properly and prevent excessive urination. However, chances are a subtle change in daily diet might not prove effective in keeping the symptoms under check. However, a dietician’s recommendation for a diabetes insipidus diet plan can still prove effective.
Healthy eating definitely helps diabetes patients keep their sugar levels controlled. But adding a few active physical movements can be a game-changer. For instance, weight gain is a recurring challenge that can be managed with a balanced regime of diet and exercise. Moreover, diabetic patients eventually experience the weakening of muscles and bones. Such health challenges can also be addressed with exercise. One of the diabetes insipidus treatments includes a healthy diet and physical activities.
Keeping that in mind, we have collated a few healthy tips for them:30-minutes of moderate intensity physical activities
1. Maintaining an active life
2. Resistance activity
3. Eat regular meals throughout the day
4. Keep non-starchy vegetables a daily staple
5. Reduce the service size of meals and snacks
6. Switch to low-fat dairy products
7. Limit intake of saturated fats, processed food, cakes and pastries
8. Cut-down salt intake to a bare minimum
9. Limit alcohol consumption
10. Replace red meat with lean red meat and fish
Diabetes insipidus is a chronic disease effectively unbalancing your Kidneys and negatively impacting your health. But developing the condition does not necessarily mean your life is finished. One can continue living a healthy life if some careful changes are introduced in their daily regime, be it in terms of physical activity or food choices. However, a doctor’s advice is always recommended before you start introducing changes in your routine for effective results.
Ans. It is a condition when the body fails to regulate how it handles fluids.
Ans. Central and nephrogenic are two types of diabetes insipidus.
Ans. The common signs and symptoms are:
1. Frequent urination
2. Large volume of light-coloured urine
3. Frequently thirsty
Ans. Polydipsia. This causes excessive thirst because the body cannot retain bodily fluid.
Ans. The top five lifestyle changes for diabetes insipidus would be:
1. Regular exercise
2. Switch to a balanced diet
3. Prioritize quality sleep
4. Quit smoking
5. Reduce alcohol, salt, protein, and unsaturated fat intake
Ans. Yes, and a water deprivation test can diagnose diabetes insipidus.
Ans. There’s no cure for diabetes insipidus. The treatments are primarily for the symptoms.
Ans. It is caused by a problem with a chemical named vasopressin produced by the hypothalamus.
Ans. Yes. However, it is easily treatable where lifestyle modification is required.
Ans. Yes. Since the body cannot retain enough water at a time, you can suffer from dehydration.