Diabetes Insipidus


Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a condition where water in the body is improperly removed from the circulatory system by the kidneys.

There are 2 forms of DI:

  • Central diabetes insipidus (central DI)
  • Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (NDI)


Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) controls the amount of water reabsorbed by the kidneys. ADH is made in the hypothalamus of the brain. The pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, stores and releases ADH.

Central DI occurs when the hypothalamus does not make enough ADH.

NDI occurs when the kidneys do not respond to ADH.

Some diabetes insipidus is caused by genetic problems that lead to central DI or NDI. Others may develop after an injury or illness.

Pituitary Gland
Nucleus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your risk of DI include:


Symptoms may include:

  • Increased urination, especially during the night
  • Extreme thirst
  • Dehydration—fast heart rate, dry skin and mouth


You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam may be done.

Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Water deprivation test

Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with an MRI scan .


Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Your doctor will work with you to address the underlying cause.

Treatment may include:

  • For central DI—taking a synthetic form of ADH
  • For NDI—following a low-sodium diet, drinking plenty of water, taking a diuretic


There are no known ways to prevent diabetes insipidus. Talk to the doctor right away if you have excessive urination or thirst.


Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Allegiance Health or performed by Allegiance Health physicians.

All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
Copyright © 2008 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

Managing your diabetes by keeping your blood sugar levels under control helps to reduce your risk of having a stroke.