Diabetes Insipidus and ADH

The human body is a remarkable wonder of nature. It is a self-managing system that makes life possible, but sometimes a few hiccups come along to disrupt its cycles. One of those is a disease caused diabetes insipidus. The relationship between diabetes insipidus and ADH is clear: when the anti-diuretic hormone isn’t communicating properly or isn’t being heard by a person’s kidneys, then this disease will cause excessive thirst and urination.

For many people, regulating the amounts of ADH that are within the body can reduce or eliminate the signs and symptoms of diabetes insipidus. Here are the facts you need to know about ADH and how it may help or hurt a person’s specific recovery chances.

1. ADH Only Causes Specific Types Of Diabetes Insipidus.

The lack of ADH in the body is usually caused by the development of central diabetes insipidus. This version is sometimes called “cranial” diabetes insipidus because many causes are caused by head trauma. When there is a tumor on the pituitary gland or a head injury has damaged the hypothalamus, then this disease may begin to develop. A lack of ADH may also be seen in the gestational version of this disease.

2. ADH May Be Normal.

For those who are diagnosed with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, their ADH levels may actually be in the normal range. This version of the disease directly affects the kidneys and how they filter fluids out of the body. The kidneys filter impurities, but they also balance fluid levels. With nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, the body always believes there are too many fluids present, even if ADH levels are normal.

3. Synthetic ADH Is Available.

There is a medication called DDAVP, or Desmopressin, that is a synthetic ADH. When administered, the body reacts to it just as it would to the natural ADH it produces. This makes it an effective treatment option for those who have abnormally low levels of this needed hormone in their body.

4. The Focus Of ADH Is In Urine Concentration.

ADH is made by the hypothalamus and it is stored in the pituitary gland. That’s why when something affects these two areas of the body in a negative way, lower levels of ADH are typically the result. This hormone is released by the body when the kidneys need to make less urine because the body needs to have a higher water concentration level. This means the kidneys will eliminate wastes with fewer fluids, concentrating a person’s urine to a dark yellow color.

5. ADH Can Be Affected By Genetics.

A defective gene can be responsible for the changes in ADH production that result in diabetes insipidus development. This gene may activate at birth or may not show any signs or symptoms to adulthood. For some with mild cases of this disease, they may never even know that they have it. Both parents can pass this defective gene on to their children, but men are more likely to pass it along.

6. A Lack Of ADH Is At The Root Of Most Gestational Diabetes Insipidus Cases.

When diabetes insipidus occurs during a pregnancy, it is almost always caused by a lessening of ADH within the body. This allows for the synthetic ADH to be administered to relieve the issue. Most cases of this particular disease will occur during the third trimester. Women who may be taking lithium will be more likely to develop a gestational version of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus when compared to women who do not.

7. Pushing Fluids Reduces ADH Levels.

When a person consumes more fluids than they need to satisfy thirst, then this naturally lowers ADH levels. Should this occur on a frequent basis, then the body begins to adapt to the higher fluid levels and this reduces ADH levels on a permanent basis. With treatment, however, ADH levels can be restored to normal if fluid intake can be reduced to needed levels. It may also occur because of a malfunction in the thirst mechanisms in the hypothalamus and if this happens, there may not be an effective treatment available.

The link between diabetes insipidus and ADH is clear. When there isn’t enough of it or when the kidneys are unable to properly speak with it, then this disease will develop. If you are suffering from the signs and symptoms of diabetes insipidus right now, then schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. Even if it is just a mild case, routine monitoring and an effective treatment plan can be implemented to make dealing with diabetes insipidus a minor inconvenience at best.