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Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2020| Content last modified Apr 2020
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What is nephrogenic diabetes insipidus?

"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 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.

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?

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)

  • Fever

  • Throwing up

  • Seizures

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:

  • Blood tests

  • Urine tests

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

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