Diabetes Insipidus: Causes, Treatment, Pathophysiology

Causes of Diabetes Insipidus

The lack of sufficient antidiuretic hormone (ADH)in the body results in diabetes insipidus. Genetic inheritance, brain tumors, head injuries, meningitis, blood vessel complications, and stroke are some of the factors associated with the development of diabetes insipidus. The hormone acts as a regulator of water absorption in the kidneys. When the body is dehydrated, more ADH is released into the bloodstream, and it stimulates the kidneys to absorb more water back to the body and release concentrated urine. When the body has too much water, little amounts of ADH are produced; hence, more water is released with urine. Diabetes insipidus is caused by an imbalance in the production of ADH. Central diabetes insipidus is a condition whereby the amount of ADH is insufficient. The second type of diabetes insipidus is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, and it occurs when the kidneys fail to respond normally to ADH. Both forms of the disorder result in the body failing to retain enough water. The respective causes of diabetes insipidus should be addressed during the treatment process because treatment normally entails controlling the symptoms.


Diabetes insipidus can be managed by taking high amounts of fluids to keep the body hydrated. Central diabetes is normally treated by replacing ADH through various forms of medication. Physicians have to test the amount of ADH that the body produces to develop a dosage that can regulate the required amount for optimal performance of the kidneys. There are also various therapy programs that can be applied to train the body to respond to small amounts of ADH. There are several synthetic hormones that can be administered to replace ADH. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, on the other hand, is quite difficult to treat because it involves the kidneys failing to respond to ADH. There are medications to control the symptoms, and diuretics are common as treatment (Maghnie et al., 2012). It is also common for physicians to develop specialized approaches to treating the disorder. For instance, hormone therapy is one of the special approaches that can treat patients with diabetes insipidus.


An imbalance in the quantity of ADH produced by the body leads to the development of diabetes insipidus. The hormone stimulates the kidneys to reabsorb more water in the process of producing urine to hydrate the body. When the body is dehydrated, the hypothalamus produces ADH, and it sends signals to the cortex to make a person feel thirsty. The kidneys may also be insensitive to ADH despite its abundance in the system (Mandal, 2015).

Patient Education

Client teaching is incorporated into nursing interventions to educate patients and their family members about diabetes insipidus. Physicians should educate patients on what to expect when they are suffering from the disorder. For instance, they should be educated about their water deprivation issues and the symptoms associated with them. Individual-based education for patients is recommended because different people with diabetes insipidus have different complications. Admitted patients must be educated about self-care after admission (Klibanski, Schlechte & Tritos, 2013). Diabetes insipidus required patients and family members to integrate various control measures to manage the symptoms. Complications are normally a result of failing to apply management procedures like the use of synthetic hormones or failure to take enough fluids. Medication information should also be availed to the patients so they can understand their effects. The most effective way, of managing diabetes insipidus, is helping the patients understand the disorder and how to manage it.


Di Iorgi, N., Napoli, F., Allegri, A. E. M., Olivieri, I., Bertelli, E., Gallizia, A., & Maghnie, M. (2012). Diabetes insipidus–diagnosis and management.Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 77(2), 69-84.

Klibanski, A., Schlechte, J., & Tritos, N. (Eds.). (2013). Diabetes Insipidus.The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 98(7), 35A-36A.

Mandal, A. (2015). Diabetes Insipidus Pathophysiology. Web.

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