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Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH): Overview

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is a chemical made in the brain. It causes the kidneys to release less water. This reduces the amount of urine. At times, ADH levels are higher than they should be. This can happen if you have certain health problems. It is known as syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH).

SIADH may occur with lung disease or cancer. It can also happen with diseases of the brain and spinal cord. Using certain medicines may also cause it.

SIADH can cause fluid to build up in your body. It may cause hyponatremia (say "hy-po-nuh-TREE-mee-uh"). This is a low level of sodium in the blood. If this happens, the balance of fluid and sodium in your body isn't normal. You may have symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

How can you care for syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)?

  • If your doctor tells you to, take pills or drink fluids that contain sodium (such as sports drinks). Or you can eat salty foods.
  • Limit your intake of water, tea, coffee, juices, and other liquids that are mostly water, as your doctor advises.
  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Get your sodium levels tested as your doctor recommends.

Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH): When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have a seizure.
  • You passed out (lost consciousness).

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are confused or have trouble focusing.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.