Patty Grant, 55 years old, reports severe headaches and excessive thirst and urination. Her blood glucose is normal. What is the probable cause of Patty’s symptoms?

The most probable cause of Patty’s symptoms is central diabetes insipidus.

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Diabetes insipidus is a rare and uncommon medical condition where a person passes large amounts of clear or diluted urine (nearly 20 liters a day). There are four types of diabetes insipidus: central, nephrogenic, dipsogenic and gestational diabetes insipidus. Central and dipsogenic diabetes insipidus are caused by damage to a...

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Diabetes insipidus is a rare and uncommon medical condition where a person passes large amounts of clear or diluted urine (nearly 20 liters a day). There are four types of diabetes insipidus: central, nephrogenic, dipsogenic and gestational diabetes insipidus. Central and dipsogenic diabetes insipidus are caused by damage to a small region in the brain known as the hypothalamus, which in turn causes ADH (vasopressin) deficiency; nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is usually caused by kidney diseases and defects; gestational diabetes insipidus is a condition which occurs only during pregnancy. People who suffer from diabetes insipidus have normal blood sugar levels.

Signs and symptoms of central diabetes insipidus include:

  • Excessive thirst (Polydipsia)
  • Excessive urination (Polyuria)
  • Fatigue (uncommon)
  • Headaches (which might range from mild to severe)
  • Dizziness and confusion (if the person becomes dehydrated)

The treatment for diabetes insipidus depends on the type, however, it usually involves drinking more water and fluids in order to prevent dehydration. If the patient has a more severe form of central diabetes insipidus, the doctor might prescribe desmopressin or DDAVP. Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus is the only type that doesn’t have a cure and can generally be controlled with treatment of symptoms. A healthier lifestyle and a more balanced diet do not have any positive or negative effects on diabetes insipidus.

Taking her symptoms, as well as her normal blood sugar levels, into consideration, it can be concluded that Patty Grant most likely suffers from central diabetes insipidus.

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