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Diabetes Insipidus

From Methodist Health Care System

What is diabetes insipidus?
Diabetes insipidus is a condition that results from insufficient production of the antidiuretic hormone by the hypothalamus, the portion of the brain that stimulates the pituitary gland. Normally, the antidiuretic hormone controls the kidneys’ output of urine. Diabetes insipidus causes excessive thirst and excessive production of very diluted urine.

Causes of diabetes insipidus:
Diabetes insipidus can be caused by several conditions, including:

    malfunctioning hypothalamus
    malfunctioning pituitary gland
    damage to hypothalamus or pituitary gland during surgery
    brain injury
    tumor
    tuberculosis
    blockage in the arteries leading to the brain
encephalitis
    meningitis
    sarcoidosis (a rare inflammation of the lymph nodes and other tissues throughout the body)

What are the symptoms of diabetes insipidus?
The following are the most common symptoms.
However, each individual may experience symptoms differently:

    excessive thirst
    excessive urine production
    dehydration

The symptoms of diabetes insipidus may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult a physician for diagnosis.

How is diabetes insipidus diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for diabetes insipidus may include:

    urine tests 
    blood tests
    water deprivation test (to observe if dehydration occurs)


Treatment of diabetes insipidus:
Treating diabetes insipidus depends on what is causing the disease. Treating the cause usually treats the diabetes insipidus. Specific treatment for diabetes insipidus will be determined by your physician based on:

    your overall health and medical history
    extent of the disease
    your tolerance for specific medications,
procedures, or therapies
    expectations for the course of the disease
    your opinion or preference

Treatment may include modified antidiuretic hormone drugs or drugs to stimulate the production of the antidiuretic hormone.


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