What is diabetes insipidus?

Diabetes Insipidus (DI) is a disorder in which the kidneys are unable to retain water. This results in the production of large amounts of urine which in turn makes you feel dry and very thirsty.

Neurogenic Diabetes Insipidus

This condition is caused by the lack of a water-retaining hormone or chemical in the blood (called vasopressin or ADH). Neurogenic DI is sometimes referred to as Cranial, Central or Pituitary DI.

Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

This condition is caused by an abnormality in the kidneys which prevents the kidneys from responding to the water-retaining hormone.

DI is not related to the type of diabetes most people have heard of, Diabetes Mellitus.

Typical symptoms

  • frequent need to pass urine (polyuria) even during the night.
  • extreme thirst leading to excessive drinking (polydipsia).
  • imbalance of electrolytes (relatively high levels of sodium and potassium).