Diabetes Insipidus

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Related to Diabetes Insipidus: nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, SIADH

diabetes insipidus

[‚dī·ə′bēd·ēz in′sip·ə·dəs]
A form of diabetes due to a disfunction of the hypothalamus.

Diabetes Insipidus


an endocrine disease caused by a low content of the hormone vasopressin in the blood. It is characterized by constant intense thirst and excessive excretion of urine. Diabetes insipidus patients excrete 5 to 50 liters a day of transparent urine with a very low specific gravity (1.005-1.001); the urine is odorless and contains no pathological components, including sugar (unlike the urine of diabetes mellitus patients). As a result of dehydration, diabetes insipidus patients suffer from dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, marked emaciation, general weakness, depression, vertigo and headaches, nausea, and sometimes even vomiting. Diabetes insipidus is caused by injury (owing to infection, tumor, or trauma) to the hypothalamus and pituitary, which form a unified functional system that regulates the excretion of salts and water by the kidneys. A hereditary predisposition to the disease is sometimes noted, and the trait is dominant. Treatment consists of hormonal preparations; chemotherapy is prescribed if the disease is of infectious or inflammatory origin.


Atabek, A. A. Nesakharnyi diabet. Moscow, 1951. (Bibliography.)
Ginetsinskii, A. G. Fiziologicheskie mekhanizmy vodno-solevogo ravnovesiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
Leaf, A. “Diabetes Insipidus.” In Clinical Endocrinology, vol. 1. New York-London, 1960. Page 73. (Bibliography.)


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Sheehan's syndrome presenting post-partum with diabetes insipidus.
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