We are experiencing exceptionally high volumes in our emergency rooms.
Every patient is important to us, and we are doing all we can to provide care quickly and efficiently.
Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

A to Z: Diabetes Insipidus, Central

In central diabetes insipidus, the body doesn't produce enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also called vasopressin. ADH, made by an area of the brain called the hypothalamus, helps balance the amount of water and salts in the body.

More to Know

Without enough ADH, the kidneys can't keep enough water in the body. As a result, people with central diabetes insipidus lose too much water in their urine (pee). They may pee often and in large amounts, get up in the night to drink or pee, wet the bed, feel thirsty a lot, or become dehydrated.

illustration

The disorder often happens when the body's immune system mistakenly destroys cells in the hypothalamus that produce ADH. In some cases, central diabetes insipidus runs in families. It also can develop as a result of brain surgery, head injury, tumors, or other conditions that cause damage to the hypothalamus.

When doctors suspect the diagnosis, they confirm it with the results of blood and urine tests. An MRI of the head and other tests also might be done to look for an underlying cause.

Keep in Mind

Treatment usually involves taking medicines that replace the missing ADH to help the body produce less urine. The medication can be given as a pill, nasal spray, or injections into the skin. If the diabetes insipidus is caused by a treatable underlying disorder, the doctor will treat that also.

In some cases, kids and teens with central diabetes insipidus may develop low levels of other hormones made by the hypothalamus and require additional medications for treatment.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.