Diane Voyatzis Norwood, MS, RD, CDE
Diabetes insipidus is a condition where water in the body is improperly removed from the circulatory system by the kidneys.
There are two forms of diabetes insipidus (DI):
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) controls the amount of water reabsorbed by the kidneys. ADH is made in the hypothalamus of the brain. The pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, stores and releases ADH.
Central DI occurs when the hypothalamus does not make enough ADH.
NDI occurs when the kidneys do not respond to ADH.
Some diabetes insipidus is casued by genetic problems that lead to central DI or NDI. Others may develop after an injury or illness.
Factors that may increase your risk of diabetes insipidus include:
Symptoms may include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam may be done.
Tests may include the following:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Your doctor will work with you to address the underlying cause.
Treatment may include:
There are no known ways to prevent diabetes insipidus. Talk to the doctor right away if you have excessive urination or thirst.
American Diabetes Association
Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus Foundation
Canadian Diabetes Association
Central diabetes insipidus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated September 1, 2011. Accessed July 31, 2012.
Garofeanu CG, Weir M, et al. Causes of reversible nephrogenic diabetes insipidus: a systematic review.
Am J Kidney Dis. 2005;45:626-637.
Majzoub JA, Srivatsa A. Diabetes insipidus: clinical and basic aspects.
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Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated September 1, 2011. Accessed July 31, 2012.
Patient information publications: diabetes insipidus. NH Clinical Center website. Available at:
http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/di.pdf. Published 2006. Accessed July 31, 2012.
Rivkees SA, Dunbar N, et al. The management of central diabetes insipidus in infancy: desmopressin, low renal solue load formula, thazide diuretics.
J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2007;20:459-469.
Sands JM, Bichet DG. Nephogenic diabetes insipidus.
Annals Int Med. 2006;144:186-194.
Toumba M, Stanhope R. Morbidity and mortality associated with vasopressin analogue treatment.
Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2006;19:197-201.
Last reviewed September 2013 by
Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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