Gestational diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that can cause pregnant people to experience excessive thirst and frequent urination.

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Gestational diabetes insipidus is a rare form of diabetes insipidus that affects the kidneys’ ability to balance the amount of water leaving your body. Gestational diabetes insidipus appears similar to gestational diabetes, though the two conditions aren’t related.

Both occur during pregnancy and have similar symptoms of increased thirst and urination.

More information about the causes and treatment of gestational diabetes insipidus can be found below, as well as how you treat gestational diabetes insidipus and what you might need to know in discussing this condition with your healthcare team.

Gestational diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that may develop during pregnancy that affects the kidneys’ ability to balance water. It can leave an individual with excessive thirst, a frequent need to urinate, and large quantities of urine. Left untreated, dehydration may occur.

This condition affects only 2–4 of every 100, 000 pregnancies. Additionally, most individuals can live a normal life as long as they follow a doctor’s recommendations to help keep symptoms managed.

Gestational diabetes insipidus tends to appear during the late second or third trimester and typically resolves by about 4–6 weeks postpartum.

Although the symptoms and names are similar, diabetes insipidus is not related to diabetes mellitus, which includes type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes.

People with diabetes mellitus balance their blood sugars, often with insulin or other diabetes medications. Their kidneys produce additional urine to try to remove extra glucose from the body.

But, people with diabetes insipidus don’t experience these types of blood sugar fluctuations. Instead, their kidneys are unable to concentrate urine normally.

Gestational diabetes insipidus isn’t the same as gestational diabetes.

Although they share a similar name, occur during pregnancy, and include some of the same symptoms, they are not related. Their causes and their impact on your body’s systems are very different.

Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy because high levels of hormones related to pregnancy make your body insulin resistant. Unlike gestational diabetes insipidus, this can lead to high blood sugar. This typically resolves after giving birth.

Gestational diabetes insipidus is a pregnancy-related complication. The additional enzyme responsible for this condition is released from the placenta, which leaves your body as part of the birthing process. While it may take a period of time for body systems to reregulate after this occurs, gestational diabetes insipidus typically resolves about 4–6 weeks postpartum.

But, gestational diabetes may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

The most common symptoms of this condition are excessive thirst (polydipsia) and large quantities of urine along with frequent urination even at night (polyuria and nocturia).

People with gestational diabetes insipidus may have pale, diluted urine.

Gestational diabetes insipidus typically occurs when the placenta releases too much of an enzyme that breaks down vasopressin. Vasopressin is an antidiuretic hormone that decreases how much water your kidneys extract from your body into urine.

People who are pregnant with more than one baby are at a greater risk of gestational diabetes insipidus because of larger placenta mass releasing more of the enzyme. Those with liver dysfunctions are also at an increased risk, because the liver metabolizes vasopressin.

Diagnosing gestational diabetes insipidus can be challenging because thirst and additional urination are naturally expected in later pregnancy.

While water deprivation testing isn’t typically advised during pregnancy because of the potential dehydration risks, blood and urine testing can be used to learn more about water balancing, sodium levels, glucose, and liver function. Pituitary MRIs can also be performed to rule out other conditions.

Treatment for gestational diabetes insipidus involves taking the hormone desmopressin, which won’t be destroyed by the placenta the way vasopressin is.

You’ll also likely be advised to monitor your condition to make sure that you don’t become dehydrated and so that your baby doesn’t develop any issues during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes insipidus is a rare condition that can cause pregnant individuals to feel excessive thirst and experience additional urination. This condition, which results from additional enzyme being released from the placenta, often resolves in the postpartum period.

If you’re noticing any unusual or extreme pregnancy symptoms, it’s important to let a doctor or midwife know. Not only can they diagnose conditions that may be causing severe symptoms to occur, but they can offer suggestions for relief from these symptoms.