Water diabetes, also known as diabetes insipidus, is a rare condition that results in excessive urination. A person with water diabetes is constantly thirsty, causing him to consume large quantities of water or other fluids. The overconsumption of water may result in a person wetting his bed or having to get up several times at night to use the bathroom. The condition, which in the majority of instances is not life threatening, may be caused by a variety of things such as infection, disease, certain medications, or a disruption in the kidneys. Treatment depends on the severity of the ailment.
Symptoms of water diabetes may include frequent urination and excessive thirstiness. A person with the condition may urinate more than four gallons (about 16 liters) a day. Other symptoms typically include dry skin, constipation, and frail muscles. In addition, a person with diabetes insipidus may become dizzy or feel faint because of dehydration or grow tired from having to constantly urinate at night.
One of the most common types of water diabetes is central diabetes insipidus, also referred to as pituitary diabetes insipidus or neurogenic diabetes insipidus. This type of diabetes insipidus occurs when there is a deficiency of vasopressin, the hormone responsible for lowering the concentration of urine in the body, which is found in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland can become damaged for various reasons, including inherited diseases, a blow to the head, and infection. To treat this type of water diabetes, a person may take desmopressin, a synthetic hormone that comes in the forms of a pill, nasal spray, or injection.
Dispogenic diabetes insipidus is similar to central diabetes insipidus. This condition decreases the production of vasopressin, while increasing the creation of urine. The overabundance of fluid may result in water intoxication, a condition in which the sodium level of the blood is lowered, which may cause brain damage. Presently, no effective cure for dispogenic diabetes insipidus exists.
Another type of diabetes insipidus is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. This occurs when a person’s kidneys are unresponsive to vasopressin and often is the result of a chronic disorder or inherited genetic disease. The condition is often treated with a drug called hydrocholorothiazide. In some instances, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is not treatable because the cause cannot be determined.
Pregnant woman are also susceptible to a type of water diabetes called gestational diabetes insipidus. This occurs when an enzyme during pregnancy kills vasopressin. In the majority of cases, gestational diabetes insipidus can be curbed with desmopressin.