Diabetes Insipidus | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes diabetes insipidus?

Diabetes insipidus has several causes. In some people, a part of the brain (called the hypothalamus) doesn't make enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH). ADH helps your body balance water in the urine and blood. In other cases, the pituitary gland (which is responsible for releasing the ADH into the body) doesn't release enough of the hormone. Damage to either the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland can cause diabetes insipidus. This can occur after a head injury, during brain surgery or when a tumor grows on the glands.

Abnormalities in the kidneys can also cause diabetes insipidus. If the kidneys are abnormal, it can affect the way they process ADH.

Diabetes insipidus can be caused by some medicines, such as lithium.

About 30% of the time, doctors can't find the cause.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00