What Causes Diabetes Insipidus?
Medical condition, that occurs due to disorder of the kidneys, in which the body is unable to retain enough water, is known as diabetes insipidus. The major symptom of this condition is passing of very diluted urine and extreme thirst of the patients.
One of the functions of the kidneys is to remove excessive fluids from the kidneys. The fluid is maintained at its normal level by increasing or decreasing the amount of urine. For example, if you have perspired a lot, the kidneys would produce lesser amount of urine in order to balance the fluid level in the body. This system is regulated by a hormone produced in the brain called antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Any problem in this system of control of body fluids is called diabetes insipidus.
Causes of Diabetes Insipidus
- Damage to the brain – Some regions of the brain such as hypothalamus and pituitary gland are responsible for the functioning of kidney. Surgery, tumour, meningitis or heady injury can hamper the production, storage and release of the ADH hormones. This is called central diabetes insipidus.
- Kidney tubules – The kidney tubules are those parts of the organ which are responsible for excretion or reabsorbing of fluids. If they do not respond normally to the release of ADH from the brain, the result is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. This particular disorder can be inherited or be caused by a long-term condition such as hypercalcimia (excess of calcium in the body). It can also be due to certain medications such as lithium and tetracycline.
- Pregnancy – Gestational diabetes insipidus is one that occurs during pregnancy. This is because an enzyme produced by placenta can destroy AHD in the mother.
ADH is produced in the region of the brain called hypothalamus. This is the same gland that controls functions such as appetite and mood swing or stability of mind. ADH is also known as vasopressin and it is released in the bloodstream whenever needed. The reabsorption of excess water into the bloodstream or vice-versa is determined by the release of ADH in the bloodstream. The most common of diabetes insipidus is nephrogenic, which is due to kidneys becoming insensitive to ADH.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 17, 2012
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