Diabetes Basics

All About Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes occurs in many forms and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is one of the many forms. This particular form of the disease is connected primarily with kidney pathology and occurs when the organ is unable to conserve water.

Causes of Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
The disease may be acquired or genetic. However, it is most common in it's acquired form or in other words, it is not present at birth and occurs as life moves on. The acquired version may be caused by several conditions of the kidney or systematic disorder. Conditions include amyloidosis, electrolyte imbalance, polycystic kidney disease and others. Other causes for acquired nephrogenic diabetes insipidus include blockages in the urinary tract, high calcium and low potassium levels and use of certain drugs such as Lithium, Amphotericin B and Demeclocycline.

The genetic form of the condition is linked to a genetic defect which causes the kidney and the vasopressin receptor or V2 to not function correctly. In rare cases, the mutation of the aquaporin2 gene may also cause the kidney water channel to burst making it impossible for the organ to absorb water. This form of the disease is hereditary as with most genetic disorders.

The Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus Condition
Either of the above causes can lead to kidneys producing more concentrated urine. The defect causes the kidneys to release excessive amounts of water into the urine producing a very large quantity of urine which is excessively diluted. This makes the patient produce large amount of urine while peeing.

However, all said and done, the condition is rare. Congenital Diabetes insipidus may occur at birth as a result of a handed down genetic defect. The disease is most likely to occur in men although; women may very well pass on the gene to their children.

Symptoms of Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus
The main symptom is of course the excretion of highly diluted urine in large quantities (3-15 litres per day) and drinking large amounts of water to make up for the liquid lost during the process of urination. One may also experience a sense of unquenchable thirst coupled with a strong preference for ice water.

Not drinking enough water can result in dehydration with symptoms including dry mucous membranes, dry skin, sunken eyes, etc. Infants with the condition also experience irritability, fever, diarrhea or constipation, failure to gain weight, seizures and lethargy. However, these symptoms can symbolize the presence of another disease as well.

Treatment for Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

Thankfully, the disease is very treatable although not curable. Large amounts of fluid are given to the patient. Certain drugs and drug combinations have also been found to be particularly helpful in concentrating the ability of the urine, thereby decreasing the requirement for water intake. However, as with most medicines, remember to ask your doctor for associated side effects you need to be aware of.