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What You Should Know about Diabetes Insipidus

Updated on December 19, 2016
excessive thirst
excessive thirst | Source

Diabetes insipidus is a condition that occurs when the kidneys are unable to retain the right amount water needed for the proper functioning of the body when the blood is being filtered.

The right amount of water that has to be retained by the kidneys is controlled by a hormone called antidiuretic hormone or ADH also known as vasopressin.

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is produced by the hypothalamus region of the brain. The hormone that is produced is stored in the pituitary gland present at the base of the brain.

The pituitary gland releases the ADH as and when needed by the body.

What exactly happens?

The volume and composition of body fluids are balanced by the intake and excretion of fluids. The kidneys remove excess body fluids in the bloodstream that is stored as urine in the urinary bladder.

When the ADH hormone reaches the kidneys, it signals for some of the water to be reabsorbed to make up for loss of fluids due to sweating or dehydration. Diabetes insipidus occurs when this process does not work correctly.

Types of Diabetes Insipidus and Causes

1.Central Diabetes Insipidus

Central Diabetes Insipidus is a condition that occurs when the pituitary gland produces low amounts of antidiuretic hormone (ADH).

Causes of Central Diabetes Insipidus

  • when the head is injured
  • due to an infection
  • tumor in the brain
  • surgery in the head
  • blood supply cut off to the pituitary gland
  • a severe infection

In some cases, Central Diabetes Insipidus can be due to genetics.

2. Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus occurs when the kidneys do not respond to ADH.

Causes of Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus can be caused by

  • drugs such as lithium, amphotericin, demeclocycline
  • high levels of calcium in the body
  • polycystic kidney disease

3. Dipsogenic Diabetes

Dipsogenic Diabetes occurs when the thirst mechanism that is controlled by the hypothalamus of the brain does not function properly. Due to this, the person feels very thirsty and drinks a lot of water.

The excess intake of water suppresses the production of ADH and results in increased production of urine.

4. Gestational Diabetes Insipidus

Gestational Diabetes Insipidus occurs only during pregnancy. An enzyme produced by the placenta destroys ADH that results in Gestational Diabetes Insipidus.

Symptoms of Diabetes Insipidus

Frequent urination occurs in the case of Central Diabetes Insipidus/Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus/Gestational Diabetes.

Excessive thirst occurs in the case of Dipsogenic Diabetes.

Difference between Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes mellitus have common symptoms such as excess thirst and frequent urination, but they are not the same.

Diabetes Insipidus is due to ADH produced in the pituitary gland and has nothing to do with insulin.

Diabetes mellitus is due to lack of insulin hormone or due to insulin resistance. Insulin is produced by the pancreas.


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    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      srsddn thank you for your visit and vote up. As you say it is very important to be aware.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      vellur, Very useful information. It is always good to be aware about functioning of the body as also how to remain fit specially be taking precautions. Voted up.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Hubert Williams thank you for stopping by and reading. Take care.

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 4 years ago

      Interesting hub. Both my wife I have Diabetes Mellitus and are insulin dependent. I try to read all I can about diabetes. Thank you for this research.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      DDE am glad you came to know about this, thank you for stopping by and reading.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I didn't know of this kind of diabetes I am glad to have stopped by here, I learned something and really like learning new information.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      unknown spy thank you and you are right we need to be informed.

      teaches12345 thank you, yes the two types of diabetes can easily be confused. Thank you for the vote too.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      There are so many forms of diabetes and this is new to me. Great post and well researched. Voted way up!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      thank you for this well written article that we all could understand. we need infos too even on the things we dont have just to be aware.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      midget38 thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for this well-researched information, which I will pass on to my father-in-law, who has diabetes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      billybuc thank you for stopping by and reading.

      idigwebsites thank you for stopping by these two conditions are not one and the same though they start with Diabetes. Thanks for the vote up.

      Eiddwen thank you for stopping by, vote up and share.

      tobusiness you are right they can get confusing. Thanks for stopping by.

      always exploring thank you for stopping by reading,

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Very good info. You explained it well. Thank you..

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Good informative hub, nice to see that you explained the difference between Diabetes Insipidus and Diabetes Mellitus, they can sometimes be confusing. Nice job.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      My partner Dai suffers from Type 2 diabetes and this article was indeed very interesting my friend. I vote up,across and share all around.


    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 5 years ago from United States

      I didn't know that there's also another kind of diabetes, similar in some characteristics to the usual diabetes most people encounter but also entirely different. Good and informative hub. Voted up and useful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very good information my friend. Nice job of research!