What is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus?
"Nephro-" means kidney, and "nephrogenic" means caused by the kidneys. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is a kidney problem that makes you urinate (pee) too much and then makes you thirsty.
Normally, your kidneys balance the level of water in your body so you have just the right amount (water balance About Body Water About half your body weight is water. So if you are a 160-pound woman, you have about 80 pounds (10 gallons) of water in your body. You need the right amount of water in your body for good health... read more ). But with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, your body loses too much water through urination.
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus can start soon after birth, or you can develop it later
You urinate a lot—1 to 6 gallons (almost 4 to 24 liters) of urine a day
Because you pee so much, you get thirsty and drink a lot
Peeing and drinking so much throws off the balance of salts and minerals (electrolytes Overview of Electrolytes Electrolytes are minerals that circulate in your blood. These minerals are also in your stomach juices, in your stool (poop), in your urine, and inside your body's tissues. Salt (sodium) is... read more ) in your body
Doctors make sure you drink enough water and not eat too much salt or protein
Sometimes, medicine can help
There's another kind of diabetes insipidus that's caused by a brain problem instead of a kidney problem. That's called central diabetes insipidus Central Diabetes Insipidus Central diabetes insipidus is not having enough of a hormone called vasopressin. Hormones are chemicals that stimulate other cells or tissues into action. Vasopressin is a hormone that signals... read more . Both types of diabetes insipidus have nothing to do with the very common type of diabetes Diabetes Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. You get diabetes if your body's normal way of controlling blood sugar isn't working right. There are 2 types of... read more (called diabetes mellitus), which is a problem with high blood sugar. However, high blood sugar also makes you pee a lot.
What causes nephrogenic diabetes insipidus?
Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus happens when your kidneys stop responding to a hormone called vasopressin. Vasopressin signals your kidneys to hold onto water and not pee so much. If your kidneys stop responding to vasopressin, you pee too much.
Causes of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus include:
A genetic problem you were born with
Taking certain medicines, such as lithium
Problems that affect your kidneys, such as polycystic kidney disease Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Polycystic kidney disease is a hereditary disorder in which many fluid-filled sacs (cysts) form in both kidneys. The kidneys grow larger but have less functioning tissue. Polycystic kidney disease... read more , sickle cell anemia Sickle Cell Disease Sickle cell disease is a lifelong problem with your red blood cells. It's something you’re born with that causes some of your red blood cells to be unusually shaped. Instead of being shaped... read more , or Sjögren syndrome Sjögren Syndrome Sjögren syndrome is a disorder in which your eyes, mouth, and certain other tissues are too dry. This can cause eye problems, swallowing problems, and tooth decay. It’s most common in middle-aged... read more
What are the symptoms of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus?
Symptoms of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus include:
Feeling very thirsty
Urinating a lot (as much as 6 gallons [24 liters] a day)
In one type of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, symptoms can start soon after birth. Babies may become very dehydrated Dehydration in Children Everyone needs water and certain chemicals (electrolytes) to be healthy. Normally, you drink fluids to meet the need, and being thirsty tells you when you need more fluids. But babies and very... read more and have symptoms such as:
How can doctors tell if I have nephrogenic diabetes insipidus?
Doctors suspect nephrogenic diabetes insipidus if you're drinking and peeing a lot. To tell for sure, they'll do:
Sometimes, doctors do a water deprivation test Diagnosis .
How do doctors treat nephrogenic diabetes insipidus?
To treat nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, doctors will have you:
Drink water as soon as you feel thirsty—babies, children, and older adults with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus should be given water often
Eat foods that are low in salt and protein
Sometimes, take medicine that helps your kidneys reabsorb sodium and water so you urinate less