"Nephro-" means kidney, and "nephrogenic" means caused by the kidneys. Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is a kidney problem where you pee a whole lot of very dilute, watery urine.
Normally, your kidneys balance the level of water in your body so you have just the right amount (water balance). 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 pee a whole 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 whole lot
Peeing and drinking so much throws off the balance of salts and minerals (electrolytes) in your body
You may become very dry (dehydrated)
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. Both types of diabetes insipidus have nothing to do with the very common type of diabetes (called diabetes mellitus), which is a problem with high blood sugar. However, high blood sugar also makes you pee a lot.
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:
Symptoms of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus include:
In one type of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, symptoms can start soon after birth. Babies may become very dehydrated and have symptoms such as:
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.
To treat nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, doctors will have you: