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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Diabetes Insipidus
      Category : Health Centers > Endocrine Disorders

Diabetes Insipidus

Alternate Names : Water Diabetes, DI

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a condition in which a person is thirsty all the time, drinks large amounts of fluids, and produces large amounts of urine. It is not the same condition as the more commonly known diabetes mellitus.

What is going on in the body?

When a person has diabetes insipidus, it is almost as if everything he or she drinks passes right through the kidneys. The 4 forms of DI are:

  • central or neurogenic, in which a defect in the brain causes a shortage of vasopressin, or antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This hormone normally tells the kidneys how much urine to release.
  • nephrogenic, in which a kidney defect causes an abnormal response to vasopressin
  • pregnancy-induced, in which there is a low level of vasopressin during the pregnancy
  • primary polydipsia, which is an abnormally high level of thirst and fluid intake
  • What are the causes and risks of the disease?

    Diabetes insipidus may be caused by:

  • brain tumor, which causes the body to produce less-than-enough vasopressin
  • skull fracture
  • head injury causing damage to the pituitary gland, the part of the brain that releases vasopressin
  • craniotomy, or surgery on the head
  • infections, such as encephalitis or meningitis, that damage the pituitary gland or brain
  • kidney disease
  • some medications, such as lithium
  • inadequate release and response to vasopressin during pregnancy


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    Diabetes Insipidus: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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