DESCRIPTIONDiabetes insipidus is a temporary disorder of the hormone system, centered in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland and the endocrine system are involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Self-care after diagnosis.
Surgery if a tumor or aneurysm is present.
If brain surgery is necessary, see craniotomy (in Glossary) for an explanation of surgery and postoperative care.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSExcessive thirst that is difficult to satisfy.
Passage of large amounts (up to 15 quarts a day) of diluted, colorless urine.
CAUSESHead injury, with damage to the pituitary gland.
Tumor of the pituitary gland.
Another type of brain tumor that applies pressure to the pituitary gland.
Infection in the brain, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
Bleeding inside the skull.
Deficiency of an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) normally secreted by the pituitary gland. The deficiency may result from the following:
RISK FACTORSPreceding illness or injury in the brain.
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Family history of diabetes insipidus.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as water-deprivation tests to determine levels of ADH.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSElectrolyte imbalance, especially increased sodium or potassium deficiency. Either of these can cause heartbeat irregularity, fatigue, and congestive heart failure.
PROBABLE OUTCOMEIf the child's disorder is caused by a tumor or aneurysm, it can be cured by surgery.
If the disorder is caused by a head injury, spontaneous recovery is likely within a year.
If the disorder is caused by a preceding brain infection, symptoms may persist indefinitely.
HOME CAREFollow physician's advice.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe synthetic ADH in nose drops, powder or injection form.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet. Your child should drink as much water as needed.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of diabetes insipidus.
Symptoms don't improve, despite treatment.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.