Diabetes Insipidus

Also known as: DI

What is diabetes insipidus?

Normally the kidneys filter salts/waste material and water (which will become urine) that flow to them via the bloodstream. Overall water loss is reduced by the action of a hormone (antidiuretic hormone/ADH or vasopressin) which acts on the kidneys and regulates the amount of water excreted so that the body’s water balance is maintained. ADH is secreted by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, stored in the pituitary gland in the brain and then released into the bloodstream.
 

Diabetes insipidus, occurs when either too little ADH is produced (the commonest form) due to damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland (Central diabetes insipidus from brain malformation, some genetic diseases, tumors, trauma, inflammatory disease like encephalitis, meningitis, or other infections plus others), or because of an abnormality in the kidneys which prevents them from responding to the ADH that reaches them (Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus from kidney disease, genetic disorders, some medications and high levels of calcium in the body). Sometimes, in both forms of DI no cause is found.
 

What are the symptoms of diabetes insipidus? 

Common symptoms of diabetes insipidus include extreme thirst, frequent urination, dehydration and new onset bedwetting. In infants additional symptoms may be fever, poor feeding and failure to grow.

What are diabetes insipidus care options? 

Treatment for diabetes insipidus varies depending on the cause. For Central diabetes insipidus, treatments include administration of a synthetic antidiuretic-like medication (like DDAVP or desmopressin) with a diuretic and changes in fluids/salts administered, while management of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus includes stopping a problem medication and/or modifying fluid/salt intake.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:11:02 PM


Upcoming Events

2018 Pediatric Autism Symposium: Ensuring Long Term Outcomes in Children Birth to Five

This one day course will include educational sessions, case studies, and panel discussions that highlight evidence-based information for managing Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related disabilities for children ages birth to 5.

Learn more and register

Communication and Feeding Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

This class is offered to parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Learn more and register

From the Newsdesk

Diabetic children learn about nutrition and keeping healthy at Camp Roaring Sun
07/11/2018 — Camp Roaring Sun, which began Monday and runs through Friday, allowed children ages 6 through 12 to take part in traditional camp activities such as swimming, playing outside, and going to a baseball game. All the activities are monitored by Nicklaus pediatric endocrinology nurses to ensure a safe and healthy environment.
Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Chief of Surgery for Nicklaus Children’s Passes Away
05/24/2018 — The medical staff, employees and volunteers of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital mourn the passing of our esteemed Dr. Sanjiv Bhatia, a longstanding leader and dedicated champion for children with complex medical conditions and their families.

Video

video
After Astry was born, her parents noticed that she wasn't progressing as babies typically do. She wasn't able to lift her head and she showed a lot of muscle weakness. Her pediatrician recommended they take her to see a neurologist, and so Astry's parents brought her to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.