Whilst diabetes insipidus usually occurs with polydipsia, it can also rarely occur not only in the absence of polydipsia but in the presence of its opposite, adipsia (or hypodipsia). "Adipsic diabetes insipidus" is recognised as a marked absence of thirst even in response to hyperosmolality. In some cases of adipsic DI, the person may also fail to respond to desmopressin.
FASTING GLUCOSE TEST. Blood is drawn from a vein in the patient's arm after a period at least eight hours when the patient has not eaten, usually in the morning before breakfast. The red blood cells are separated from the sample and the amount of glucose is measured in the remaining plasma. A plasma level of 7.8 mmol/L (200 mg/L) or greater can indicate diabetes. The fasting glucose test is usually repeated on another day to confirm the results.
Treatment involves drinking sufficient fluids to prevent dehydration. Other treatments depend on the type. In central and gestational DI, treatment is with desmopressin. Nephrogenic DI may be treated by addressing the underlying cause or the use of a thiazide, aspirin or ibuprofen. The number of new cases of diabetes insipidus each year is 3 in 100,000. Central DI usually starts between the ages of 10 and 20 and occurs in males and females equally. Nephrogenic DI can begin at any age. The term "diabetes" is derived from the Greek word meaning siphon.
Central DI and gestational DI respond to desmopressin which is given as intranasal or oral tablets. Carbamazepine, an anticonvulsive medication, has also had some success in this type of DI. Also, gestational DI tends to abate on its own four to six weeks following labor, though some women may develop it again in subsequent pregnancies. In dipsogenic DI, desmopressin is not usually an option.
At the same time that the body is trying to get rid of glucose from the blood, the cells are starving for glucose and sending signals to the body to eat more food, thus making patients extremely hungry. To provide energy for the starving cells, the body also tries to convert fats and proteins to glucose. The breakdown of fats and proteins for energy causes acid compounds called ketones to form in the blood. Ketones also will be excreted in the urine. As ketones build up in the blood, a condition called ketoacidosis can occur. This condition can be life threatening if left untreated, leading to coma and death.