Diabetes Insipidus

Diabetes insipidus is a condition in which the kidneys are unable to conserve water.

Endocrine glands release hormones (chemical messengers) into the bloodstream to be transported to various organs and tissues throughout the body. For instance, the pancreas secretes insulin, which allows the body to regulate levels of sugar in the blood. The thyroid gets instructions from the pituitary to secrete hormones which determine the pace of chemical activity in the body (the more hormone in the bloodstream, the faster the chemical activity; the less hormone, the slower the activity).

Treatment :The cause of the underlying condition should be treated when possible.
Central diabetes insipidus may be controlled with vasopressin (desmopressin, DDAVP). You take vasopressin as either a nasal spray or tablets.

If nephrogenic DI is caused by medication (for example, lithium), stopping the medication may help restore normal kidney function. However, after many years of lithium use, the nephrogenic DI may be permanent.
Hereditary nephrogenic DI and lithium-induced nephrogenic DI are treated by drinking enough fluids to match urine output and with drugs that lower urine output. Drugs used to treat nephrogenic DI include:
  • Anti-inflammatory medication (indomethacin)
  • Diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and amiloride)

CausesDiabetes insipidus (DI) is an uncommon condition that occurs when the kidneys are unable to conserve water as they perform their function of filtering blood. The amount of water conserved is controlled by antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin.
ADH is a hormone produced in a region of the brain called the hypothalamus. It is then stored and released from the pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of the brain.
DI caused by a lack of ADH is called central diabetes insipidus. When DI is caused by a failure of the kidneys to respond to ADH, the condition is called nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
Central diabetes insipidus is caused by damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland as a result of:
  • Head Injury
  • Infection
  • Surgery
  • Tumor
Nephrogenic DI involves a defect in the parts of the kidneys that reabsorb water back into the bloodstream. It occurs less often than central DI. Nephrogenic DI may occur as an inherited disorder in which male children receive the abnormal gene that causes the disease from their mothers.
Nephrogenic DI may also be caused by:
  • MRI of the head
  • Urinalysis
  • Urine output

Prognosis:The outcome depends on the underlying disorder. If treated, diabetes insipidus does not cause severe problems or reduce life expectancy.
If thirst mechanisms are normal and you drink enough fluids, there are no significant effects on body fluid or salt balance.
Not drinking enough fluids can lead to the following complications:

  • Dehydration
    • Dry skin
    • Dry mucus membranes
    • Fever
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Sunken appearance to eyes
    • Sunken fontanelles (soft spot) in infants
    • Unintentional weight loss

  • Electrolyte imbalance
    • Fatigue, lethargy
    • Headache
    • Irritability
    • Muscle pains
When to Contact a DoctorCall your health care provider if you develop symptoms of diabetes insipidus.If you have diabetes insipidus, contact your health care provider if frequent urination or extreme thirst return.

The information provided on this page should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only – they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
published by at 12:49 PM
: Diabetes Insipidus
: 4.5
: Dr. Zadut
: Diabetes Insipidus
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