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Causes of Diabetes Insipidus

Damage to the pituitary gland, drugs that interfere with the kidneys' ability to respond to ADH, and chronic disorders, including kidney failure, are known diabetes insipidus causes. Other causes include a defect in or damage to the thirst mechanism located in the hypothalamus and, in pregnant women, an enzyme made by the placenta that destroys ADH in the mother.

What Causes Diabetes Insipidus?

Diabetes insipidus occurs when the precise system for regulating the kidneys' handling of fluids is disrupted. Diabetes insipidus causes vary, depending on the type of diabetes insipidus involved.

Central Diabetes Insipidus Causes

The most common form of clinically serious diabetes insipidus, central diabetes insipidus, results from damage to the pituitary gland, which disrupts the normal storage and release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH).
Damage to the pituitary gland can be caused by different diseases as well as by head injuries, neurosurgery, or genetic disorders.

Causes of Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus

Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus results when the kidneys are unable to respond to ADH. In nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, the kidneys' ability to respond to ADH can be impaired by drugs (like lithium, for example) and by chronic disorders, including:
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Partial blockage of the ureters
  • Inherited genetic disorders.
Sometimes, the cause of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is never discovered.

Causes of Dipsogenic Diabetes Insipidus

Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus (a rare type of diabetes insipidus) is caused by a defect in or damage to the thirst mechanism, which is located in the hypothalamus. This defect results in an abnormal increase in thirst and fluid intake that suppresses ADH secretion and increases urine output. This is a rare type of diabetes insipidus.
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Information about Diabetes Insipidus

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