When you see the word “diabetes” you generally think of diabetes mellitus which is a blood sugar imbalance. However, although it shares the term, Diabetes Insipidus (DI) is a condition that does not affect blood sugar but rather causes an imbalance of fluid in the body. This imbalance can cause severe discomfort and kidney issues.
Diabetes insipidus occurs as a result of miscommunication between the pituitary glands, hypothalamus, and kidneys.
In a healthy patient, the pituitary and hypothalamus regulate the body’s need for fluid by producing and excreting an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), known as vasopressin. This hormone not only sends a signal to your brain that expresses thirst, but it also affects kidney function. ADH triggers the kidneys to expel excess water or fluid back into the bloodstream rather than into the bladder as urine.
In a patient who suffers from DI, the communication between these systems becomes confused. The specific location of disruption determines the type of DI, which could be one of the following:
- Central diabetes insipidus. Disruption of ADH production, storage, and expulsion, caused by damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, causes central DI. Surgery, tumors, illness (such as meningitis), head injury, or even inherited genetic disorders are the most common causes of the disruptions that lead to central DI.
- Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. A defect in the kidneys, specifically the kidney tubules—the structures in your kidneys that cause water to be excreted or reabsorbed—causes nephrogenic DI. This defect makes your kidneys unable to react properly to the secreted hormone. Defects may result from inherited disorders, chronic kidney disorders, or pharmaceutical side effects.
- Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus. Excessive fluid intake and retention can cause the kidneys to become overloaded and dilute ADH, causing dipsogenic DI, also known as primary polydipsia.
Symptoms of DI
Common debilitating symptoms of DI, which can affect your ability to work, include:
- Dehydration. When your body can’t properly regulate fluid intake and output, dehydration can occur. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, low blood pressure (hypotension), elevated blood sodium (hypernatremia), fever, hallucinations, headaches, and tachycardia (irregular heart rate).
- Excessive urination. When your kidneys can’t regulate the amount of water needed for the body to function, it will discard it into the bladder as urine. This wastefulness not only deprives your bloodstream of essential fluid, but also excessively fills your bladder, causing you to urinate more often—sometimes up to16 quarts a day.
- Electrolyte imbalance. When your urination level increases, your electrolyte levels dangerously decrease. This reduction of potassium and sodium levels can lead to fatigue, lethargy, nausea, muscle cramps, and confusion.
Filing for DI Disability
If you suffer from DI, it can be difficult to perform basic work functions. In addition to the constant need to be within walking distance of a restroom, complications can drastically affect your physical abilities. Therefore, depending on the severity of your condition, filing for disability may be your best option. However, it’s important to know that just because you have the condition doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be approved. To ensure that your claim is strong enough for consideration, the Social Security Administration demands a certain level of evidence. Secure your claim today by:
- Gathering essential medical evidence and diagnoses. Medical records, physician statements, and diagnostics from your hospital can go a long way in proving the existence as well as the severity of your condition.
- Displaying adequate proof that your condition prevents you from working. Having DI isn’t enough to secure disability; you must be able to show how the condition impacts your financial ability to provide for yourself. Furthermore, you must be able to guarantee that your condition has or will continue for at least 12 months.
- Hiring a reliable attorney to help you file your claim. Filing a claim cannot only be complicated but also extremely arduous. Contact our office today to speak with an experienced, knowledgeable, and highly dedicated disability attorney.
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