An important part of your self-care plan for treating diabetes insipidus will include drinking enough water to avoid dehydration. Medications like desmopressin or thiazide diuretics may also help with this condition.

Only 1 in 25,000 people worldwide have diabetes insipidus, a rare condition in which the kidneys are unable to properly balance the amount of water in the body.

It’s typically caused by problems with the arginine vasopressin (AVP) hormone, and symptoms include extreme thirst and frequent urination even during the night.

Once doctors diagnose diabetes insipidus, they can help you develop a treatment plan that will likely include drinking sufficient amounts of water each day and possibly taking some medications that could help with the condition.

Treatment for diabetes insipidus will depend on the type and severity.

Some people with mild diabetes insipidus may only need to drink additional water to avoid dehydration. Others may require medications.

If diabetes insipidus is due to medications that you’re taking for other health conditions, doctors may need to address this underlying issue and those medications in order to treat the diabetes insipidus. This may mean switching to an alternative medication or taking the lowest possible dose of an interfering medication.

In extremely rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove an underlying cause like a tumor.

People with diabetes insipidus may need medications such as desmopressin or thiazide diuretics.

The medication desmopressin is used when your body is not producing enough vasopressin or breaking down the hormone too quickly. Desmopressin is a synthetic version of vasopressin that may be consumed as pills, a nasal spray, or a shot.

When you have sufficient vasopressin in your body but your kidneys are not responding appropriately to it, you should not use desmopressin. Instead, thiazide diuretics and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen may be prescribed to reduce urine production.

Thiazide diuretics are useful for those with diabetes insipidus because they can slow the rate that kidneys filter blood, which may reduce the amount of urine being produced. When NSAIDs are used in combination with thiazide diuretics, they can decrease the urine volume even further.

Prolonged use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of a stomach ulcer. So, another medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) may be prescribed to reduce this risk.

A diabetes insipidus self-care plan may include:

  • drinking enough water per your healthcare team’s guidelines
  • eating foods low in protein and salt
  • taking medications
  • tracking the frequency and amount of urine
  • instructions on when to contact your doctor and a plan for follow-up appointments

When to visit a doctor for diabetes insipidus

Because dehydration carries serious health risks, it’s important to notify your doctor if you’re showing symptoms of diabetes insipidus.

When determining the proper treatment, it’s essential that doctors perform diagnostic testing to learn more about what is happening inside your body and rule out the possibility of other health complications with similar symptoms.

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People with diabetes insipidus may want to consider avoiding:

  • areas and activities where water is hard to come by or where you’re more likely to become dehydrated
  • using any medications that are negatively impacting how your body interacts with the AVP hormone
  • consuming lots of protein and salt, since this may increase the amount of urine you produce

Research hasn’t found that diet and nutrition play a role in causing or preventing diabetes insipidus.

If you have diabetes insipidus, your doctor may suggest reducing the amount of sodium and protein in your diet to help the kidneys produce less urine. This can mean avoiding foods like processed foods, eggs, nuts, and meats.

You may want to consider consulting your doctor before making any changes to your diet and meal planning.

People with diabetes insipidus may need to make sure they do not get dehydrated or develop an electrolyte balance. This can require drinking extra water and taking medications such as desmopressin.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of diabetes insipidus, you may want to consider visiting your doctor for diagnostic testing. They can use this information to help determine the best treatment plan for you.