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Diabetes insipidus

Stephen Black sblack at UBISHOPS.CA
Mon Feb 24 14:24:00 EST 1997

On 24 Feb 1997, F. Frank LeFever wrote (in response to a question about 
"no sodium" in the blood): 
> Did he say anything about diabetes insipidus?  did he say sodium was
> the only electrolyte that was low?  (e.g. what about potassium?)
> Did he talk about diabetes insipidus?  did he talk about GatorAde?

I just want to object (mildly) to the implication that hyponatremia may
indicate diabetes insipidus. Possibly we're just talking terminology here,
but the central problem in diabetes insipidus is a lack of ADH
(anti-diuretic hormone) which results in excessive water loss as dilute
urine, with thirst as a secondary symptom. The term "insipid" refers to
the alleged taste of the resulting urine. So individuals with diabetes
insipidus would tend to be hypernatremic rather than the opposite (more 
out than in).

Excessive water drinking in the presence of kidney dysfunction might lead
to hyponatremia (more in than out). It might even lead to water
intoxication. And what about a deficiency in aldosterone secretion or
Addison's disease? 


Stephen Black, Ph.D.                      tel: (819) 822-9600 ext 2470
Department of Psychology                  fax: (819) 822-9661
Bishop's University                    e-mail: sblack at ubishops.ca
Lennoxville, Quebec               
J1M 1Z7                                                                 

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