Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes insipidus

is a condition in which the body cannot retain enough water. The patient is excessively thirsty and excretes large amounts of extremely diluted urine – a reduction in fluid intake does not reduce amounts and consistency of urine excretion. It is a rare condition, affecting approximately 1 in every 25,000 people.

Diabetes insipidus is not related to diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes). The term diabetes on its own nearly always refers to diabetes mellitus. This article is about diabetes insipidus – the condition characterized by intense thirst and polyuria (excretion of large amounts of urine).

In most cases diabetes insipidus occurs because the body does not properly produce, store or release a key hormone – arginine vasopressin (AVP), also known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH). It may also occur when the kidneys do not respond properly to ADH (antidiuretic hormone).

There are three types of diabetes insipidus:

  • Neurogenic diabetes insipidus – a deficiency with ADH (antidiuretic hormone).
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus – insensitivity of the kidneys to ADH.
  • Gestational diabetes insipidus – in very rare cases diabetes insipidus may also occur during pregnancy.

According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary:

Diabetes insipidus


“Chronic excretion of very large amounts of pale urine of low specific gravity, causing dehydration and extreme thirst; ordinarily results from inadequate output of pituitary antidiuretic hormone; the urine abnormalities may be mimicked as a result of excessive fluid intake, as in psychogenic polydipsia. Two types exist: central and nephrogenic. Autosomal dominant [MIM*125700, *125800, *192340], X-linked [MIM*304800 and *304900], and even autosomal recessive forms [MIM*222000] have been described.”


What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes insipidus?

A symptom is something the patient senses and describes, while a sign is something other people, such as the doctor notice. For example, drowsiness may be a symptom while dilated pupils may be a sign.

The main signs and symptoms of diabetes insipidus include:

  • Extreme thirst – patients find themselves having to drink water all the time. The constant thirst and a dry feeling are persistent; even after consuming large quantities of water.
  • Polyuria – excretion of very large quantities of urine (diluted). Urine output can range from 2.5 liters (2.6 quarts) per day to 15 liters (16 quarts) per day, compared to about 1.5 to 2.5 liters per day in other adults without the condition.Patients may find that they need to pass pale, watery urine as often as every 15 to 20 minutes. This may make it very hard to be out of the house if there is no toilet nearby. In the UK patients may receive a toilet facility card which allows them to use toilets in non-public places.


Holy Basil Leaves: Also known as tulsi, leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene.  Collectively these substances help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) function properly. This in turn helps increase sensitivity to insulin. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress. Here are top 10 health benefits of tulsi

Tip: Have two to three tulsi leaves whole, or about one tablespoon full of its juice on an empty stomach to lower the blood sugar levels.

Flax Seeds: Due to their high fibre content flaxseeds help digestion and aid in the proper absorption of fats and sugars. Consuming flax seed helps reduce a diabetic’s postprandial sugar level by almost 28 per cent. Read more health benefits of flaxseeds

Leaves of bilberry plant: Also called the neelabadari plant, it has been used in Ayurveda for many centuries to control diabetes. Recently the Journal of Nutrition stated that the leaves of the Bilberry plant contain high amounts of anthocyanidin, which enhance the action of various proteins involved in glucose transportation and fat metabolism. Due to this unique property, bilberry leaves are a great way to lower one’s blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon: Also known as dalchini, it improves insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels. Having as little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon per day can improve one’s insulin sensitivity and help controlling weight, thereby decreasing one’s risk for heart disease. Read more health benefits of cinnamon.

Tip: Include about 1 gram of dalchini into your daily diet for about a month to help lower blood sugar levels.

Green Tea: Unlike other tea leaves, green tea is unfermented and is high in polyphenol content. Polyphenol is a strong antioxidant and hypo-glycaemic compound that helps control the release of blood sugars and helps the body use insulin better. Read more health benefits of green tea.

Drumstick leaves: Also called moringa, the leaves of this plant are best known for their ability to boost one’s energy. In the case of diabetics, the moringa leaf increases satiety and slows the breakdown of food and lower blood pressure.

Isabgol: Also known as psyllium husk is often used as a laxative. When isabgol comes in contact with water, it swells to form a gel-like substance. This slows the breakdown and absorption of blood glucose. Isabgol also protects the stomach lining from ulcers and acidity.

Bittergourd or Karela:  Rich in plant insulin-polypeptide-P, a bio-chemical that is useful in reducing blood sugar. TipHave karela at least once a week either as a subzi or in a curry. If you want quick results, try having a glass of karela juice on an empty stomach once in three days. Here’s how karela can help you to beat diabetes.

Neem: Found abundantly in India, the bitter leaf has a number of amazing medicinal properties. Neem enhances insulin receptor sensitivity, helps improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels, lowers blood glucose levels and reduces one’s dependence on hypoglycaemic drugs.  Here are more health benefits of neem.

Tip: Have the juice of the tender shoot of neem leaves on an empty stomach, for best results.

Jambul or Indian blackberry: A glycoside present in the seeds of Indian blackberry prevents the conversion of starch to sugar. It lowers blood sugar and helps prevent insulin spikes. Jambul also has properties that can protect you from heart diseases and other vascular disorders

The Top 7 Natural Cures for Diabetes Insipidus

1. A combination of turmeric powder, gooseberry powder and honey works wonders in treating diabetes insipidus. Juice made from gooseberries and turmeric can be consumed empty stomach. Alternatively, one can also consume grape juice daily. It is one of the most effective natural cures.

2. Mango leaves are one of the best natural cures for diabetes insipidus. For best results, those suffering from diabetes must boil few mango leaves and drink this water every morning on an empty stomach.

3. Rose Geranium: Rose Geranium helps to lower the level of blood sugar, lowers blood pressure as well as helps blood coagulation. This is one of the most beneficial herbs for diabetes. It works wonders for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus as often the sufferers have wounds that are opening on their feet along with skin ruptures.

4. Milk thistle is a very effective form especially amongst the diabetes herbal remedies. As per a research, it has been discovered that milk thistle contains antioxidant properties that contribute to the health of diabetics. It is one of the most recommended natural cures for diabetes insipidus.

5. Soak few black raisins in a bowl of water overnight. Strain this next morning and drink the clear liquid that is obtained. Taken on a regular basis, it helps to control blood sugar. It is one of the best natural cures for diabetes.

6. Chewing few leaves of Butea tree regularly helps to keep blood sugar in check.

7. Consuming jamuns, oranges and tomatoes diligently on a regular basis helps in bringing down the level of blood sugar.