Psychogenic Polydidsia Review: Etiology, Differential, and Treatment

Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29203, USA.
Current Psychiatry Reports (Impact Factor: 3.24). 07/2007; 9(3):236-41. DOI: 10.1007/s11920-007-0025-7
Source: PubMed


Psychogenic polydipsia (PPD), a clinical disorder characterized by polyuria and polydipsia, is a common occurrence in inpatients with psychiatric disorders. The underlying pathophysiology of this syndrome is unclear, and multiple factors have been implicated, including a hypothalamic defect and adverse medication effects. Hyponatremia in PPD can progress to water intoxication and is characterized by symptoms of confusion, lethargy, and psychosis, and seizures or death. Evaluation of psychiatric patients with polydipsia warrants a comprehensive evaluation for other medical causes of polydipsia, polyuria, hyponatremia, and the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone. The management strategy in psychiatric patients should include fluid restriction and behavioral and pharmacologic modalities.

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    • "Psychological stress and acute psychosis may contribute to this transient resetting of the osmostat [10]. Other postulated hypotheses include stimulation of thirst centres by elevated dopamine levels, drinking to counteract anticholinergic side effects of psychotropic medications, and changes in feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis induced by chronic polydipsia [1]. Antipsychotics have been recognised to lower the seizure threshold [11], including olanzapine, which was prescribed to the patient in this study [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Water intoxication is a rare condition characterised by overconsumption of water. It can occur in athletes engaging in endurance sports, users of MDMA (ecstasy), and patients receiving total parenteral nutrition. This case outlines water intoxication in a patient with psychogenic polydipsia. When the kidney's capacity to compensate for exaggerated water intake is exceeded, hypotonic hyperhydration results. Consequences can involve headaches, behavioural changes, muscular weakness, twitching, vomiting, confusion, irritability, drowsiness, and seizures. Cerebral oedema can lead to brain damage and eventual death. In this case, psychogenic polydipsia led to significant hyponatraemia, cerebral oedema, and tonic-clonic seizures. Differential diagnoses for hyponatraemia are outlined. The aetiology of psychogenic polydipsia is uncertain, but postulated hypotheses are explored. Psychogenic polydipsia occurs in up 20% of psychiatric patients and this case serves to remind us to be cognizant of water overconsumption.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
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    • "In normovolemic hyponatremia, the shortlist of diagnostic possibilities includes SIADH, hypothyroidism , adrenal insufficiency, or psychogenic polydipsia. Low urine sodium and low urine osmolality imply psychogenic polydipsia (Dundas et al., 2007). If urine sodium and osmolality are high, then a TSH and cosyntropin stimulation test will evaluate whether thyroid and adrenal function are depressed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Electrolyte and acid-base disturbances are common occurrences in daily clinical practice. Although these abnormalities can be readily ascertained from routine laboratory findings, only specific clinical correlates may attest as to their significance. Among a wide phenotypic spectrum, acute electrolyte and acid-base disturbances may affect the peripheral nervous system as arreflexic weakness (hypermagnesemia, hyperkalemia, and hypophosphatemia), the central nervous system as epileptic encephalopathies (hypomagnesemia, dysnatremias, and hypocalcemia), or both as a mixture of encephalopathy and weakness or paresthesias (hypocalcemia, alkalosis). Disabling complications may develop not only when these derangements are overlooked and left untreated (e.g., visual loss from intracranial hypertension in respiratory or metabolic acidosis; quadriplegia with respiratory insufficiency in hypermagnesemia) but also when they are inappropriately managed (e.g., central pontine myelinolisis when rapidly correcting hyponatremia; cardiac arrhythmias when aggressively correcting hypo- or hyperkalemia). Therefore prompt identification of the specific neurometabolic syndromes is critical to correct the causative electrolyte or acid-base disturbances and prevent permanent central or peripheral nervous system injury. This chapter reviews the pathophysiology, clinical investigations, clinical phenotypes, and current management strategies in disorders resulting from alterations in the plasma concentration of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus as well as from acidemia and alkalemia.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Handbook of Clinical Neurology
    • "Psychogenic polydipsia (PPD), a clinical disorder characterized by polyuria and polydipsia, is defined by hyponatremia found in 10-20% of those presenting with compulsive drinking.[1] Symptoms are not typically seen until the patient reaches their limit of maximal urine dilution (100 mosmol/kg with minimum urine osmolality). "
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    ABSTRACT: Psychogenic polydipsia, in its most severe form, can lead to acute water intoxication by way of extreme hyponatremia. This results in cerebral edema, mental status deterioration and can lead to life threatening intracranial hypertension if not identified and treated urgently. However, this treatment rarely involves surgical intervention. Herein, we describe a 47-year-old man who presented to our emergency department who was found down with a decline in mental status and generalized tonic clonic seizures. He was comatose with glasgow coma score of 5. His exam was notable for sluggishly reactive pupils, absence of corneal reflexes, decorticate posturing, and globally increased tone and hyper-reflexia with upgoing toes bilaterally. Lab work revealed sodium of 107 mmol/L. CT scan of the head showed global cerebral edema with sulcal effacement. A ventriculostomy was placed with an opening pressure of 35-cm H(2)O, and cerebrospinal fluid was drained to maintain normal intracranial pressure. Fluid restriction and hypertonic saline were used to carefully correct the hyponatremia. The patient improved and at day five was neurologically intact. His history later revealed schizophrenia and a predilection for drinking greater than 8 L of diet cola daily.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Emergencies Trauma and Shock
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