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Polydipsia and hyponatremia in psychiatric patients
Am J Psychiatry 1988;145:675-683.
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Abstract

Many psychiatric patients have polydipsia and polyuria without identifiable underlying medical causes. Hyponatremia develops in some polydipsic patients and can progress to water intoxication with such symptoms as confusion, lethargy, psychosis, and seizures or death. This syndrome is sometimes called "compulsive water drinking," "psychogenic polydipsia," and "self-induced water intoxication." Although the underlying pathophysiology of the syndrome is unclear, several factors have been implicated in producing polydipsia and symptomatic hyponatremia. These include a possible hypothalamic defect, the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of ADH (SIADH), and neuroleptic medication. Evaluation of psychiatric patients with polydipsia includes a search for other medical causes of polydipsia, polyuria, hyponatremia, and SIADH. Treatment modalities currently available include fluid restriction and medications.

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