Diabetes Insipidus

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Diabetes insipidus treatment

There are ways to manage the signs and symptoms of diabetes insipidus at home.

Preventing dehydration is important. As long as you take all medications as prescribed and have access to plenty of water then their effects wear off, you can prevent becoming dehydrated. Carry water with you wherever you go, and make sure that you drink any time you feel thirsty.

It’s also important to wear a medical alert bracelet or carry a medical alert card in your wallet. In the case that you have a medical emergency, a healthcare professional will be able to recognize your need for special treatment or consideration.

The types of medical treatment17 for diabetes insipidus vary depending on what form of the condition is present.

If you have central diabetes insipidus, you may only need to increase the amount of water you drink. However, if the condition is caused by an abnormality in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus (such as a brain tumor), the abnormality will be treated first.

Central diabetes insipidus that is caused by an abnormality is typically treated with a synthesized hormone called desmopressin. This medication, which can be taken as an oral tablet, nasal spray, or an injection, replaces the missing ADH (which is an antidiuretic hormone) and decreases urination. Other drugs like indomethacin and chlorpropamide can also make ADH more available in the body.

If you have nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, medications like desmopressin won’t help, since the kidneys don’t respond normally to ADH in this form of diabetes insipidus. Your healthcare provider may instead prescribe a low-sodium diet to help reduce the amount of urine your kidneys make. You will also need to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Treating nephrogenic diabetes insipidus with the drug hydrochlorothiazide may improve symptoms of the condition. While the drug is usually diuretic (increases urine output), it can reduce urine output in some people with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.

Gestational diabetes insipidus is generally treated with desmopressin.

Primary polydipsia has no specific treatment other than decreasing fluid intake. Sometimes, this condition is related to mental illness. If this is the case, treating the underlying mental illness may relieve the symptoms of diabetes insipidus.

Diabetes medication

Your provider may prescribe the following medications for diabetes insipidus:

May be prescribed

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Diabetes treatment

Diabetes types 1 and 2, like all forms of diabetes, are often first treated18 by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

  • Eating a healthy diet:** Focus on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and cut down on saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, and sweets.
  • Getting enough exercise: Regular physical activity lowers blood sugar levels by moving glucose into the cells, where it’s used for energy. Exercise also increases sensitivity to insulin, meaning the body needs less insulin to transport sugar into cells.

Diabetes treatment options can differ based on the type of diabetes you have.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves administering insulin injections or using an insulin pump. Patients must also closely monitor their blood sugar levels—sometimes as much as 4 times a day—and receive carbohydrate counseling.

In some people with type 1 diabetes, a pancreas transplant may be an option. While a successful pancreas transplant eliminates the need for insulin therapy, the procedure isn’t always successful and can pose serious risks.

Treating type 2 diabetes primarily requires healthy lifestyle changes. Patients must also monitor their blood sugar and, in some cases, may need to take diabetes medications, insulin, or both.

People with type 2 diabetes may also undergo bariatric surgery. Although it’s not specifically considered a treatment for type 2 diabetes, patients who are obese and have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 may benefit from the procedure. This option isn’t specifically considered a treatment for type 2 diabetes, however, and its long-term risks and benefits for this condition aren’t yet known.

Diabetic diet

There are many resources on nutrition19 for people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association reports that “What can I eat?”20 is the single most frequently asked question by people after being diagnosed with diabetes.

The ADA emphasizes the importance of your individual health requirements and dietary preferences. Because all bodies respond differently to various types of foods and diets, there is no one diet prescribed for people with diabetes.

The ADA does, however, provide some guidelines to help you manage your blood sugar. The 2019 Nutrition Consensus Report21 provides some tips for choosing the best diet for your wants and needs. The report recommends getting a referral to a registered dietician nutritionist (RDN), who can help you determine what plan makes the most sense for you and your treatment goals.

One of the best ways for people with diabetes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney disease is to swap unhealthy foods for more nutritious, less fattening options. While many different diets can help you manage your diabetes, it is generally a good idea to minimize added sugars and refined grains and include lots of non-starchy vegetables and whole, minimally processed foods.

Related Conditions

Gestational Diabetes
A form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy (gestation) in women that did not already have diabetes prior to pregnancy.
A group of conditions that result in elevated levels of the sugar glucose in the blood.
High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)
A symptom that is usually the result of high levels of sugar or glucose in the blood. This symptom typically occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.