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Re[IP] diabetes insipidus (the other diabetes)...warning...long!

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"What is diabetes insipidus and why do we get it?"
Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a disorder in which your kidneys are unable to
retain water. This results in the production of large volumes of urine which
in turn makes you feel dry and very thirsty. It is very important to point
out that DI is not related to the type of diabetes most people have heard of,
diabetes mellitus. In DI, there is no problem with the sugar in the blood or
urine. The problem either concerns the lack of a water-retaining hormone or
chemical in the blood (called vasopressin; sometimes anti-diuretic hormone)
or is sometimes due to an abnormality in the kidneys which prevents them from
responding to this hormone. The hormone itself is normally secreted by the <A
pituitary gland</A>, which is located at the base of the brain, just behind
bridge of the nose.Most DI is caused by inadequate secretion of <A
by the pituitary gland. This can happen in varying degrees. Sometimes it
occurs on its own, but in many cases it is accompanied by loss of other
hormones made by the pituitary. In this event, it is most likely to be caused
either by abnormalities of the pituitary gland or as a result of treatment to
remove an enlarged pituitary gland. If you experience DI following pituitary
surgery, this may well be temporary, in which case it will only last a week
or two, but in some cases it may be permanent. DI can occur at any age, but
is mostly found in adults, as pituitary enlargement is most common between
the ages of 20 and 50. It is a rare disorder, affecting only about 1 in 25000
people.The other form of DI, which occurs when the kidneys cannot respond to
the vasopressin secreted by the pituitary gland, is very rare indeed. It is
either caused by an inherited abnormality in the mechanism which recognises
vasopressin in the kidney, or it can be caused by a number of diseases of the
kidney itself.
        Copyright ) 2001 The Pituitary Foundation
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