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Alternative Names Return to topNephrogenic diabetes insipidus; Acquired nephrogenic diabetes insipidus
Definition Return to top
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is a disorder in which a defect in the small tubes (tubules) in the kidneys causes a person to pass a large amount of urine. The tubules allow water to be removed from the body or reabsorbed.
See also: Diabetes insipidus - central
Causes Return to top
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus occurs when the kidney tubules do not respond to a chemical in the body called antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin. ADH normally tells the kidneys to make the urine more concentrated.
As a result of the defect, the kidneys release an excessive amount of water into the urine, producing a large quantity of very dilute urine. This makes you produce large amounts of urine.
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is rare. Congenital diabetes insipidus is present at birth as a result of an inherited defect that usually affects men, although women can pass the gene on to their children.
Most commonly, nephrogenic diabetes insipidus develops because of other reasons. This is called an acquired disorder. Factors that can trigger the acquired form of this condition include:
Symptoms Return to top
You may have intense or uncontrollable thirst, and crave ice water. You will produce large amounts of urine, usually more than 3 - 15 liters per day.
If you do not drink enough fluids, dehydration can result. Symptoms may include:
Other symptoms that can occur due to inadequate fluids include:
Exams and Tests Return to top
A physical exam may reveal:
Testing may reveal:
Other tests that may be done include:
Treatment Return to top
The goal of treatment is to control the body's fluid levels. Patients will be given a large amount of fluids. The amount of fluids given should be about equal to the amount of urine produced.
If the condition is due to a certain medication, stopping the medicine may improve symptoms. Never stop taking any medication without first talking to your doctor.
A medicine called hydrochlorothiazide may improve symptoms. This may be used alone or in combination with other medications, including indomethacin. Although this medication is a diuretic (these medications are usually used to increase urine output), in certain cases hydrochlorothiazide can actually reduce urine output for people with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
If a person drinks enough fluids, this condition has no significant effects on the fluid or electrolyte balance of the body.
If the person does not drink enough fluids, high urine output may cause dehydration and high levels of sodium in the blood.
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus that is present at birth is a chronic condition requiring lifelong treatment.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
Prevention Return to top
There is no known way to prevent congenital nephrogenic diabetes insipidus.
Treating the disorders that can lead to the acquired form of the condition may prevent it from developing in some cases. Medications should only be used under the supervision of the health care provider.
References Return to top
Verbalis JG. Posterior pituitary. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 243.Update Date: 4/14/2008 Updated by: Parul Patel, MD, Private Practice specializing in Nephrology and Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Affiliated with California Pacific Medical Center, Department of Transplantation, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.