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Diabetes Insipidus

more about Diabetes Insipidus


  • Vasopressin (also called anti-diuretic hormone) is a hormone released by the hypothalamus, a gland in the brain.  Vasopressin acts on the kidneys, allowing them to conserve water.  When there is a decrease or lack of vasopressin, diabetes insipidus occurs, causing the kidney (and body) to lose massive amounts of water.

  • Intense thirst
  • Craving for ice water
  • Large amounts of urine; frequent urination
  • Dehydration
  • Confusion
  • There may be visual disturbance
  • Shock

  • Central
    1. Primary diabetes insipidus -- cause unknown
    2. Secondary diabetes insipidus -- the hypothalamus or pituitary in the brain is damaged, causing tumors, trauma, infection, and diseases such as Sarcoidosis
  • Vasopressinase -- induced (diabetes insipidus of pregnancy) -- this enzyme can be released abnormally in the last 3 months of pregnancy, destroying the vasopressin present in the blood
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus -- the kidney does not respond correctly to vasopressin
  • Drugs such as Demeclocycline and Lithium may produce nephrogenic-type DI

  • 24 hour urine
  • High Sodium levels in the blood
  • Vasopressin challenge test helps to determine which type of diabetes insipidus is present
  • MRI of pituitary, hypothalamus, and skull to look for damaged areas

  • All types
    1. Adequate fluid intake
  • Central diabetes insipidus
    1. Desmopressin acetate
    2. Chlorpropamide helps some patients
    3. Hydrochorothiazide
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus
    1. Indomethacin plus either hydrochlorothiazide, desmopressin, or amiloride
  • Diabetes insipidus of pregnancy
    1. Hydrochorothiazide
    2. Delivery of baby will stop the condition


  • Clarification

- Diabetes insipidus is given its name because the symptoms are similar to Diabetes Mellitus ("sugar diabetes"), but in fact, they are two completely different diseases.

  • Warning                                                      

- Individuals with this condition should never be denied water or liquids, as it can be life-threatening.




more about Diabetes Insipidus


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