Diabetes insipidus is a rare disease in children, which inhibits the ability of kidney to process fluids. The amount of fluid retention gets influenced by alteration in vasopressin (anti diuretic hormone) production within the kidney. Diabetic insipidus (DI) is marked by an increased thirst and excretion of excess urine (polyuria) and therefore, also referred as water diabetes.
Due to this one symptomatic similarity to diabetes types 1, it is named as diabetes, but otherwise diabetes insipidus is not at all related to diabetes type 1 or type 2. There exist two forms of diabetes insipidus in children, one is central DI and the other one is Nephrogenic DI.
Diabetes insipidus occurs in one out of 265,000 people in US and mortality rate is very small in case of adults. But in children, diabetes insipidus complication can lead to extreme dehydration that may become more serious and life threatening. Hence, it is very crucial to seek right treatment and prevent complications, once diabetes insipidus is suspected in children.
Important Ways To Prevent Complications Of Diabetes Insipidus In Children
Maintaining Proper Water Balance
It is foremost important to ensure that a proper water balance is maintained in children by drinking adequate fluids, since excess loss of water due to frequent urination in diabetes insipidus may lead to dehydration that can be fatal. Moreover, children should be guided not to intake excess of water as it can lead to rare but a serious complication of water intoxication. The child must take in an equivalent amount of fluid that is being lost through urination.
Overloads of liquid may cause problems with salt levels of the body, especially sodium levels that can drop to drastically low amounts, causing an electrolyte imbalance. Signs of water overload include dizziness, headaches and weight gain. In severe cases, it may lead to seizure and unconsciousness.
Correct Diagnosis And Associated Treatment
Children need to be properly diagnosed by the doctor to assess the type of DI, out of the two commonly occurring forms of diabetes insipidus. Central DI is caused due to damage of pituitary gland that produces vasopressin. Hence, a daily dose of desmopressin (synthetic version of ADH) in a pill or spray form is recommended to restore insufficient ADF levels.
In infants and children, this is the most commonly inherited form of DI. Those who need to use desmopressin should only drink water when thirsty as usage of this drug prevents any excess excretion of water by making kidneys less responsive to altered fluid levels of the body.
Under nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, the pituitary secretes adequate vasopressin, but the kidney is unable to respond to it due to an acquired or inherited kidney disease. The usual treatment recommends decreasing the intake of salt and using hydrochlorothiazide or indomethacin medications to reduce the output of urine.
Medications To Be Taken Only Under Doctor Supervision
Diabetes insipidus may just be the result of certain medications. Children administered with any prescription medications should have regular supervision by the doctor as long as a particular treatment continues. The doctor can treat the condition by mere replacing medications with alternative drugs, when certain drugs seem to be the cause of diabetic insipidus.
Signs And Symptoms Of Complicated Diabetes Insipidus
Major complications are electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. The usual symptoms of dehydration include dry mucous membranes, dry skin, sunken eyes, weight loss, and rapid heartbeat. Signs of electrolyte imbalance include frequent headaches, fatigue, irritability, muscle pains and lethargy.