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March 27, 2003

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA:

My 10 year old autistic daughter has been urinating way too frequently (up to eight times an hour) for a few weeks, and her urine is predominantly dilute in appearance. Once in a great while, it will be yellow in appearance, and never before has it been dilute in appearance. It is perplexing to me because she has not been drinking a whole lot of fluids so the urine should definitely be more concentrated. The doctor has tested for infection and found none but gave her an antibiotic anyway (with no result). The doctor has done an ultrasound of the bladder that shows she is emptying out appropriately. Since the doctor can't figure out what to do, she put my daughter on Ditropan to stop the urgency to pee, but nothing changed, and my daughter began to develop a fever. Is urine volume necessarily an indication of diabetes insipidus? Can frequency and dilute appearance warrant concern?

Answer:

In your daughter’s case I think that in view of her autism, the most probable cause of the polyuria would be psychogenic polydipsia, but of course there are a number of other causes for this which can be evaluated using specific tests. You need to discuss plans with the doctor.

DOB

[Editor’s comment: In your daughter’s case I think that in view of her autism, the most probable cause of the polyuria would be psychogenic polydipsia, but of course there are a number of other causes for this which can be evaluated using specific tests. You need to discuss plans with the doctor.

WWQ]