Home care and alternative treatment for diabetes insipidus

This is a different condition from Type 1 and 2 Diabetes. In Diabetes mellitus, blood sugar is high but people with Diabetes insipidus have normal blood glucose levels.

Diabetes insipidus causes an imbalance of fluids in your body.  You would be thirsty even if you’re drinking a lot of fluids.

One identified cause (of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus) is lithium damage to kidney cells.  Lithium is a medicinal mood stabilizer. A few, but not all, other causes are a brain tumor or head injury that damages the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, or complications during brain or pituitary surgery.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Excessive thirst with a preference for cold beverages
  • Production of large amounts of diluted urine (in a serious case, up to 20 quarts a day)
  • Frequent urination
  • In a child
    • Bed-wetting
    • Constipation
    • Delayed growth
    • Excessive urine output
    • Fever
    • Sleep difficulty
    • Vomiting
    • Weight loss

PREVALENCE

There are a few types of this condition with different causes but the general prevalence is estimated to be one in 25,000

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

A synthetic hormone is used in a couple different types of this condition is aimed at decreasing urine output.  There is no cure.  It is a serious condition if one cannot keep pace with the loss of fluid.

NSAIDs and naproxen can reduce urination.

SELF TREATMENT

There are a few things you can do to increase your comfort.

DIET

Excessive sodium causes water excretion. A low-salt, low-protein diet may reduce urine output. You still must stay hydrated; may also help to eat foods high in water content:

  • Citrus fruit
  • Cucumbers
  • Kiwi
  • Leafy greens
  • Red cabbage
  • Red peppers
  • Watermelon

Starchy vegetables:

  • Avocadoes
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE – consult with your doctor.

  • Cut back on salt
  • Reduce protein intake

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Coconut water
  • Electrolyte drinks

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body.  Diabetes insipidus will cause excessive urination, which leads to dehydration. Water transports nutrients throughout the body, protects the eyes and mouth, lubricates joints, regulates your body temperature and removes waste from your body.  Hydration is directly related to brain functions. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough?  If you are losing excessive water, you will need to drink more than others in order to keep up with the loss.  It is also important to keep your mouth moist. Carry water with you whenever you are away from home.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition. Consider a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnoea.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm.  Anxiety undermines health.  Even without this condition, stress can cause an imbalance in your hormones, which in turn may cause imbalance in fluid and electrolyte levels. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Suck on ice chips to keep your mouth moist.
  • Suck on sour candy. Maybe you can find some made with stevia instead of sugar.
  • Check with your doctor about any medications that may be interfering with your electrolyte balance.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet.
  • Carry water at all times.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Dehydration can cause dizziness and confusion. If you experience this, seek medical attention.
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