Diabetes Mellitus Vs Diabetes Insipidus – A Major Differences

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What is Diabetes Mellitus?   

Diabetes is a lifelong chronic condition or disorder caused by a series of metabolic disorders. Diabetes is characterised by increased high glucose levels in the blood (high blood glucose).  

Diabetes is caused when the body does not make insulin or enough insulin or when the body is incapable of using the produced insulin. The hormone insulin secreted by the pancreas handles transporting glucose from the blood to cells.  

In the case of Diabetes, the body is unable to get glucose from the blood to the cells. The glucose remains in the blood, increasing the glucose level of blood.  

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterised by Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), Glycosuria (glucose in the urine), excessive urine, frequent thirst and excessive appetite caused by the lack of defects in insulin secretion.  

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

The chronic condition where the pancreas produces little or no insulin to regulate and transport glucose from the blood to cells.

The disorder occurs when the insulin secreted is inadequate or resistant in controlling the blood glucose level in the body.

It is an auto-immune disease where the insulin-producing beta cells are eventually destroyed or fail to secrete insulin. It is a lifelong disease, so people diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes Mellitus should inject Insulin for managing sugar levels.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

The condition is also called non-insulin-dependent Diabetes. The disorder occurs when the secreted insulin is inadequate to control the blood glucose level in the body.  

What is Diabetes Insipidus?

Diabetes Insipidus is in no way related to Diabetes Mellitus. It is a disorder that makes the kidney excrete more urine than the normal amount.  

To be more clear, Diabetes Insipidus is caused by a disorder in the Hypothalamus (which is responsible for the secretion of ADH – An antidiuretic hormone or Vasopressin) or the inability of the kidney to respond to the ADH hormone.  

The ADH hormone is stored and released by the pituitary gland. The ADH hormone is responsible for the amount of water excretion in urine. The absence of ADH hormone leaves the kidney dysfunctional resulting in more excretion of water from the body through urine.  

Normally kidney produces 1-3 litres of urine in 24 hours, but the Diabetes Insipidus affected kidney produces up to 20 litres of urine in 24 hours. Hence, the affected person feels thirsty all the time.

What are the types of Diabetes Insipidus?

Below are the different types of Diabetes Insipidus:

Central Diabetes Insipidus

This disorder is caused when the body does not produce or produce a less amount of antidiuretic hormone (ADH or vasopressin). This hormone is produced by the hypothalamus located near the pituitary gland in the brain.  

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

Under this disorder, the ADH hormone is secreted normally, but the kidney’s malfunction makes them not respond to the ADH hormone. Thus, resulting in heavy excretion of fluid through urine from the body.  

Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus

More intake of fluid results in heavy excretion of fluid through urine. Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus is not related to Diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes Insipidus

This disorder is rare and develops during the time of pregnancy or in the third trimester. This disorder is caused by the abnormal activity of the vasopressin hormone. The pregnant women’s placenta produces an enzyme that destroys vasopressin. As a result, the kidney losses control over fluid excretion.  

Diabetes Mellitus vs. Diabetes Insipidus

Even though the diseases share the same first name, they are not related to each other by any means. Their symptoms are similar to an extent, but their cause and treatment are different from one another.  

Check out the differences between Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetes Insipidus.  

S.noDiabetes MellitusDiabetes Insipidus
1Caused by disorder of the pancreasCaused by disorder of hypothalamus or Kidney
2Caused by insulin deficiencyCaused by disorder of antidiuretic hormone or vasopressin secretion.
3Rise in blood glucose levelNo rise in blood glucose level 
4Presence of glucose in urineNo presence of glucose in urine
5Increase in blood cholesterol level Does not increase blood cholesterol level in all cases

Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetes Insipidus have some common symptoms, which include:

  • Excessive urine secretion
  • Excessive thirst

Even though their symptoms are common, their cause is different.  


Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetes Insipidus have similar symptoms but differ in their causes and treatments. Treating diabetes in the early stages helps to reduce the risk of developing chronic health complications. That’s why a regular check-up is advised to detect the diseases in their early stages.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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