Diabetes insipidus, not to be confused with the more common diabetes mellitus, is a relatively rare disorder resulting from a failure to produce sufficient amounts of vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Vasopressin, produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the posterior pituitary gland, helps the kidneys to reabsorb water and maintain proper fluid balance. If the pituitary fails to produce enough ADH, water is not conserved bur simply passed through the kidneys and excreted, typically in very large quantities. More rarely, the kidneys fail to respond properly to ADH; this is known as nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Dehydration is the primary health risk associated with either form. Diabetes insipidus affects both sexes equally. With proper treatment, overall prognosis is good.
There is no known way to prevent diabetes insipidus from the traditional standpoint.
Combining conventional and alternative therapy is one of the surest way in prevention and treatment for diabetes insipidus.
- Vasopressin (synthetic ADH) may be administered (either in a nasal spray, as a pill, or by injection) to replace or supplement the body’s ADH production. Such hormone therapy is usually necessary for a lifetime, although if diabetes insipidus is caused by a head injury or surgery, it may possible to discontinue treatment.
- To treat nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, your doctor may advise a low salt diet to reduce thirst and slow the excretion of water. Certain diuretics may also be prescribed. (Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus does not respond to ADH treatment.)
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Consume plenty of high fiber foods and fruit juices to prevent or treat constipation.
- Herbs bean tea, made up of kidney white navy, Lima, and northern beans, detoxifies the pancreas.
- Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre), and gulvel (Tinospora cordifo) are herbal remedies used in ayurvedic medicine to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Cedars berries are excellent nourishment of the pancreas.
- Dandelion root protects the liver, which converts nutrients into glucose. Note: if you suffer from gallbladder problems, avoid large quantities of dandelion.
- Huckleberry helps to promote insulin production.
- Other herbs that may be beneficial for diabetes include bilberry, buchu, dandelion root, and goldenseal and uva ursi. Caution: do not take goldenseal on a daily basis for more than one week at a time, and do not use it during pregnancy. If you have a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or glaucoma, use it only under a doctor’s supervision.
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