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Gestagenic Diabetes Insipidus (DI)

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Gestagenic diabetes insipidus (DI) is also known as gestational DI. It is a rare disorder that occurs during pregnancy, usually during the third trimester. Gestagenic DI causes symptoms of both excessive thirst and excessive urination.

With gestagenic diabetes insipidus, you may consume many glasses of water each day. You may also find yourself frequenting the bathroom more than once or twice an hour. But with gestational DI, these feelings of unquenchable thirst and frequent urination are not caused by the pregnancy. Rather, gestational DI is a type of diabetes insipidus or "water" diabetes.

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The symptoms of gestagenic diabetes insipidus are similar to some of the symptoms of the more common diabetes mellitus or "sugar" diabetes. But the two conditions are not related.

What causes gestagenic diabetes insipidus?

Vasopressin, also called antidiuretic hormone (ADH), is a substance in the body that regulates the body's water retention. Although it's rare, sometimes during pregnancy, an enzyme secreted by the placenta can destroy vasopressin. When that happens, the lack of ADH results in excessive thirst and frequent urination. Gestagenic diabetes insipidus may also lead to lack of control in urinating and to bedwetting.

In some cases, gestagenic diabetes insipidus is caused by a deficiency in the body's thirst mechanism. In other cases, gestagenic DI may run in families. And in some cases of gestagenic DI, there is no known cause.

What are symptoms of gestagenic diabetes insipidus?

Most pregnant women find themselves making frequent trips to the bathroom at night due to the increasing pressure of the growing fetus on the bladder. But frequent urination can also be the first sign of gestagenic diabetes insipidus. If it is, it usually correlates with an intense thirst.

Symptoms of too much fluid in the body with gestational DI may include nausea, dizziness, and weakness. If this happens, call your doctor for a medical evaluation.

How is gestagenic diabetes insipidus diagnosed?

To make a correct diagnosis of gestagenic diabetes insipidus, your doctor will first conduct a urinalysis to see if the urine is diluted and not concentrated or yellow. In addition, your doctor may send your blood for laboratory tests. Further testing may be necessary.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

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However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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