What Should You Know About Water Deprivation Test?

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Water Deprivation Testing

Do you drink gallons of water and yet feel that your thirst is not quenched? Feeling unusually thirsty is a medical condition known as polydipsia. This symptom mostly afflicts people suffering from diabetes. It also occurs to people who fail to take their anti-diabetes medicines or those who take inadequate doses of the same.

This condition also occurs in people with decreased blood volumes and other conditions that cause water deficit.

A water deprivation test helps in diagnosing the causes of polydipsia.


In this test, your urine is tested. You need to give a clean-catch urine sample for the water deprivation test. Clean-catch involves the need for the genitals to be clean in order to collect the urine sample. Women need to clean the area between the lips of their vagina with soap and clean water before collecting the urine sample. Men have to clean the head of their penis properly before collecting the urine sample. Clean genitals help in getting accurate results from the test.

Since this test involves simple urine collection, you may not experience any discomfort whatsoever. So, do not worry. You can relax because it is just a simple procedure. The water deprivation test is so simple that it can be done on infants as well.

Things To Follow Before Conducting the Test

In case you are going in for a water deprivation test, here are few things that you need to follow:

  • You need to fast overnight, just as you would for your normal blood sugar test.
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Discontinue medicines that may interfere with the test. Seek the advice of your doctor regarding the same.
  • You can follow a normal and balanced diet before your test. Your doctor will advice you regarding water deprivation.

Interpretation of Test Results

If your result reads anywhere between 1.0002 and 1.030, it is considered normal. Normal results may vary slightly from laboratory to laboratory. Your doctor will be the best person to help you further understand the results of the water deprivation test.

Abnormal results may indicate decreased urine concentration which may possibly lead to intake of excessive water, diabetes insipidus, renal failure or inability to absorb water, and pyelonephritis.

Once the results of the water deprivation test are known, an appropriate treatment can be suggested. You can then get rid of this condition at the earliest.