Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Diabetes Insipidus Underlying Cause

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is normally produced by the brain. ADH causes the kidney to conserve water in the bloodstream, and reduce the amount of urine.

There are two causes of diabetes insipidus:

  • Central diabetes insipidus:
    • The hypothalamus produces to little ADH
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus:
    • The kidneys does not respond to normal amounts of ADH

When there is a lack of ADH, or the kidneys fail to respond normally to ADH, a large amount of water passes into the urine. This can lead to electrolyte imbalances, particularly serum sodium, and dehydration.

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diabetes Insipidus References
  1. Boughey JC, Yost MJ, Bynoe RP. Diabetes insipidus in the head-injured patient. Am Surg. 2004 Jun;70(6):500-3. [15212402]
  2. Fujiwara TM, Bichet DG. Molecular Biology of Hereditary Diabetes Insipidus. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2005 Aug 10. [16093448]
  3. Garofeanu CG, Weir M, Rosas-Arellano MP, Henson G, Garg AX, Clark WF. Causes of reversible nephrogenic diabetes insipidus: a systematic review. Am J Kidney Dis. 2005 Apr;45(4):626-37. [15806465]
  4. Lindholm J. Diabetes insipidus: historical aspects. Pituitary. 2004;7(1):33-8. [15638296]
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