Central diabetes insipidus

Caused by damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary glands in the brain. Both these glands produce, store and release the vasopressin hormone. These glands can be damaged by any head injury, surgery, infection, inflammation and brain tumours. The impairment causes the kidneys to filter too much fluid out of the blood and leads to extreme urination. Central DI can also be from an abnormality in the gene responsible for vasopressin secretion, or in some cases, without an identifiable cause.

Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus

Caused by the kidneys instead of the brain. The condition results in the kidneys either completely or partially unresponsive towards vasopressin. This may be due to several factors including genetic mutation, kidney infection, cancers, high calcium levels or low potassium levels in blood and more. Nephrogenic DI can also be inherited genetically or acquired.

Dipsogenic diabetes insipidus

This defect causes one to have an abnormally extreme thirst due to a fault in the thirst mechanism. As one is thirsty all the time, they tend to drink high levels of water which leads to the body secreting less vasopressin. The kidney then produces more urine. The hypothalamus here is affected as well, through similar reasons when compared to Central DI.

Gestational diabetes insipidus

In some rare cases, pregnancy can affect the release of vasopressin, especially during the third trimester. The placenta produces an enzyme that degrades vasopressin in the mother’s body, causing the kidneys to draw extra fluid from the bloodstream. The mother’s body may also produce high levels of a chemical called prostaglandin, leading to the kidney being less responsive to vasopressin. Gestational DI occurs with mild symptoms, as many women tend to urinate frequently either way during pregnancy. Dehydration, however, can lead to complications such as premature labour.

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