5 Common Diabetes Insipidus Complications

Diabetes insipidus is a rare condition in which the affected person feels excessive thirst and passes large amounts of urine frequently. Even if the person drinks less amount of water, the urine formation remains unaffected. The patient passes pale and diluted urine as often as every 15 minutes, and this causes a lot of inconvenience as well as distress. The symptoms may appear to be that of diabetes mellitus, but these two conditions are totally unrelated. In most cases, diabetes insipidus is caused when the body does not produce, release, or store sufficient amount of a key hormone called arginine vasopressin (AVP).

Also, if the kidneys are not able to properly respond to this key hormone, it can cause diabetes insipidus. In very rare cases, this condition may also develop in women during pregnancy. A person diagnosed with diabetes insipidus may suffer from many complications if this condition is left untreated. Given here are some of the main complications that may occur in people suffering from diabetes insipidus.

Complications Of Diabetes Insipidus


One of the main complications of diabetes insipidus is severe dehydration. Your body is not able to retain water and frequent excretion of urine leads to dehydration. Even if you drink water regularly, it is not enough to prevent dehydration. This can cause symptoms like dry mouth, fever, headache, muscle weakness, weight loss, etc. It is best to take rehydration fluids in this condition. Severe dehydration needs to be treated in a hospital with intravenous fluids.

Electrolyte Imbalance

People suffering from diabetes insipidus tend to lose a lot of fluids due to excessive urination. This can cause complications like electrolyte imbalance and cause lot of discomfort to the patient. The patient feels irritable and lethargic. Electrolyte imbalance can also cause nausea and loss of appetite. Serious complications of electrolyte imbalance include cerebral edema, seizures, shock and even coma.


Another main complication of diabetes insipidus is hypotension, or low blood pressure. Your body loses large amounts of fluids due to this condition, and if proper care is not taken, this can cause your blood pressure to fall dangerously below the normal levels. If you notice dizziness, it is best to consult your doctor and take proper precautions as low blood pressure can damage your heart and brain.


When a person suffers from diabetes insipidus, a lot of fluid gets lost from the body in the form excessive urine formation. Water even tends to move out of the brain cells. Due to the movement of water, the blood vessels may tear and the brain cells tend to shrink. Blood clots tend to form at the site, and this can lead to a complication called thrombosis. It can result in shock, or even coma.


The severe loss of body fluids due to diabetes insipidus can lead to a complication called hypovolemia. Due to the decreased volume of blood and fluids circulating in your body, the heart is not able to pump blood properly to various parts of the body. This can cause shock to many organs of the body and they may stop working. Hypovolemic shock is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention.


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