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Support for People with Mood Disorders => General Discussion => Topic started by: Stenacron man on January 29, 2017, 11:52:42 pm

Title: If you take “LITHIUM” read this post you can die from it.
Post by: Stenacron man on January 29, 2017, 11:52:42 pm
                   Subject; Lithium induced (NDI) (Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus)

I am writing this from firsthand experience, and on behalf of a member here named “dragonfly” who does have this condition. I am still at this point undecided as to whether or not I am writing a book entitled;  “My Lithium Journey”. If so I likely won’t start it for some time as I have one book on the go that’s a happy book about my childhood growing up fly fishing.

Before we start this topic; Most Antipsychotics and mood stabilizing medications come with a warning that they can (cause or worse) Diabetes. I have not yet seen this warning in RRSI’s / Antidepressants.

Also Lithium is a class (B) controlled substance that by law requires side effect intervention, and blood level monitoring. If your psychiatrist is not intervening side effect wise he or she is criminally liable under assault and battery in Ontario.

This year I almost died 3 times from Lithium induced (NDI) (Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus) and that is not the typical type II diabetes that you get tested for. In the type II diabetes complex there are reported to be more than 40 strains most medically induced. I cannot speak to all the drugs but I can for the case of Lithium (NDI). I will also make a list of other medications I have taken that can do this as well.

Genetics; Whether diabetes is in your family line or not, if you get diabetes (insipidus) it is from taking lithium. In your DNA genetic makeup some of us have a predisposition weakness that allows this to happen. Since going to a geneticist is usually not an option till it is too late, I will post all the symptoms I had while developing this condition. I was able to stop it just in time with allot of heavy duty research.

Scientific published literature indicates in many crossover studies that 15-20% of Lithium users will develop (NDI). Some of these studies indicated less than 2000 bipolar participants. That means that up to 400 people in a study were capable of developing (NDI) and more than 200 would for sure. The longer you use lithium the more like it becomes a reality, and a high dose over 900 mg exacerbates the problem and can quickly give it to you.

Once you have become Lithium (NDI) it can be reversed if it is caught in time. Getting a regular bi-monthly diabetes blood test through your GP is highly advised as well as your regular 12 hour lithium level testing. Common Diabetes tests will not indicate (NDI) cause that is a special test and it is a set of tests. Just keep an eye on your numbers. Lifelabs now allows you to see your tests results online and often before your doctors see them. If your numbers are constantly changing for the worse and you are taking Lithium you should very much consider getting off of it ASAP.
In some cases like mine my body was acting (Pseudo-diabetic) without actually being diabetic. It was horrible but it was the best thing that ever happened because it clearly pointed all my doctors in the right direction after my extensive research to prove this. I had been researching this and writing my psychiatrist to get me off it ASAP, and he finally agreed before I became (NDI). What happened to me is my stomach acid levels slowly increased while I got sicker so we were unable to indicate it was my stomach that was causing a daily diabetic blood sugar crash.

High levels of acid stopped me from being able to eat properly from end of July till mid-November. I was severely protein and nutritionally deficient. I was averaging 40-60 grams of protein a day the whole time. Recommended grams for a sedimentary male like me is 136 per day. I would shake and tremble all day long by 3 o’clock in the afternoon till bed time I would be convulsively shaking from my lower hips so bad I have two small hernias one on each side that are too small to fix from the convulsive shaking.

My throat was raw burning and I couldn’t swallow after 3 pm. I had to crush all my meds from mid-July till the last dose of Lithium ending in October because stuff got stuck and I would throw it back up. I also had 4 infections in the same month at the same basic time frame. I was also looking like I might have been getting Lupus, so until I got to my Rheumatologist I could rule it out.

Rheumatologist comments; The reason I had 4 infections at the same time was lithium had compromised the biochemistry of my autoimmune system making me very vulnerable or susceptible to infections and diabetes. Even after being off lithium for a month I got 2 more infections at the same time in October. Dr Hart my Rheumatologist said without a doubt I would have become Lithium induced Diabetes Insipidus and soon.

                                               First early warning sign is called;

Decreased urinary concentration; meaning less urine in the bladder than normal in the morning. Plus more frequent urge to go with little urine present all day long.
Symptoms of potential (NDI);

•   Chronic unexplainable thirst
•   Urgency to frequently urinate
•   Little coming out of bladder low pressure
•   Susceptible to infections
•   Chronic dry eyes
•   Chronic dry mouth daily
•   High blood pressure over 140/97
•   Unable to get or maintain an erection
•   Swelling in the limbs mine was my ankles
•   Pain in the arches of your feet feels like the skin is cracking.
•   Toes and parts of feet feeling tingling like Styrofoam
•   Severe difficulties breathing
•   Convulsive trembling and shaking like seizures
•   Chronic hunger pains
•   Hunger pains right after eating [that is caused by your stomach acids levels increasing]
•   Daily chest tension anxiety
•   Daily panic attacks.
•   Difficulty self-regulating body temperature
•   Rings and lines in your fingers and toe nail from protein deficiencies
•   Difficult walking
•   Difficulty talking
•   Difficulty swallowing pills and food
•   Hypersensitive hearing and eyesight to bright lights
•   Periodic vertigo and balance issues
•   Very blurred vision
•   Periods of extreme lethargy

Medications that can cause or worsen diabetes;

(Clozapine)(Olanzapine)(Quetiapine)(Risperidone)(Aripiprazole) (Ziprasidone)(Lithium)(Divalproex)(Valproic acid)(Chlorpromazine)  there probably many more.
If you have concerns about any medication and the potential to cause diabetes. Simply open Google type in your medication name / diabetes. Example; lithium/diabetes and information will come up if there is a problem. If you are more like me and want hardcore scientific data you must search things this way. All Government agencies like the FDA, CDC, and most Hospital archives, and all science laboratories by law produce all documents on PDF files by Adobe Acrobat PDF Creator. So to search for medical science data you must first install PDF reader.

Then in a Google search type in, PDF file lithium / diabetes and all relevant documents will come up on the subject. Do not use site like Web-meds the information is not always correct. You can also use the Mayo clinic they have a very large medical database with free open access. Here are some links to Lithium (NDI) one is a website article, the other 3 are PDF science publication files. (

PDF files; ( ( (

I don't know why the first two links come out the same. The last one I didn't read before. in the opening paragraph it states 30-40% of lithium user will be (NDI).

All the best to all of you. Being bipolar is hard enough you don’t need diabetes to add to it ask Dragonfly.

Buddy Mack.   
Title: Re: If you take “LITHIUM” read this post you can die from it.
Post by: paulm on February 01, 2017, 01:24:30 am
Hello Buddy Mack. First of all I'm sorry that you were one of the unlucky ones to develop NDI. I take lithium and was interested in what you had to say. However I also like to do my own research.

What follows in no way invalidates your comments. You are certainly correct about the potential for serious problems if you take lithium and the longer you take it the more serious that it can get. However except for in rare instances (and rare really hurts if it happens to you) I didn't find the same problems with Lithium that you did.

I did find reputable material at the world health organization A study by the World Health Organization show a long term rate of 10% . Source: and both quote WHO

Another article in NCBI said: Lithium-induced end stage renal disease is rare. Source:

Overseas studies tend to say the same

A variety of studies do point to NDI being a problem that usually develops slowly and not without warning. Even as it develops most don't say to quit lithium, just continue to monitor it until it becomes a serious problem.

Several article in the NCBI said that going over the maximum amount of lithium, causing lithium toxicity in the body would bring on NDI. Allowing the body to become dehydrated was suggested as a cause of lithium toxicity. Drinking alcohol was mentioned as a cause of dehydration. (from everything I have read in the past and now suggests that anyone taking lithium should severely limit the amount of alcohol they take in)

I found lot's of contradictory things often in the same article. Take the article . In it they quote a rate of 40% of people taking lithium will develop NDI and later on they say that 41,000 people in the USA have all types DI , of which NDI is a subset. If there are 400 million people in the usa and 1% of them had bipolar and 5% of them were treated with Lithium on a long basis then there would be about 200,000 in number. Then even a percentage of 20% would be 40,000 which would be 100% of all DI cases,, which is in conflict with the article it's self.

Even the article the doctors writing it said that the patient developed NDI after surgery and started putting out large amounts of water after the surgery. They make no mention of the person having NRI prior to surgery. As brain surgery can cause DI, I cannot possibly see how they can blame lithium and the person having NDI. Not to mention the fact that any doctor knowledgeable about lithium would have a person stop taking lithium before the brain surgery as any major surgery can cause a person to have hydration problems. In this case the guy couldn't drink water afterwards and that would lead to lithium toxicity all by itself, which in turn would lead to NDI.

 So while my findings are much different than yours, they in no way invalidate your experiences or findings. I'll continue to take my lithium as it works well for me and I will continue to have my kidneys and blood work done. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: If you take “LITHIUM” read this post you can die from it.
Post by: Stenacron man on February 01, 2017, 02:33:36 am
I have also seen a great deal of variability reported in the studies. I sort of averaged it out at 15-20% some say 10% others up to 40% in newer articles. All I know is I don't want it and don't want to see anybody get it.  Still even if it is even 10% and there are 2000 patients in the study then 200 out of 2000 will get it. To me that is unacceptable, when other medications are less likely to cause permanent harm like this. Having a permanent mild hand tremor is one thing but Diabetes that's just too much risk. Having bipolar is bad enough but adding Diabetes to the problem !!!! No thank you

Buddy Mack.
Title: Re: If you take “LITHIUM” read this post you can die from it.
Post by: Stenacron man on February 01, 2017, 01:32:30 pm
I have a very important update on this. Dr Dziurdzy had me taking all 900 mg at bedtime causing an overdose daily till it weaken my autoimmune system. Lithum thanks to Paul's post making me look back showed me evidence that the SOP standard Operating Procedure for lithium Dose is 300 am / 300 aft / 300 Pm. So I was technically getting flooded by lithium ever night. I just re-read the labels on the bottles they all say take a bedtime directly aper the doctor and that is what he told me on how to take them all at bedtime. So I was toxically overdosed every day for 8 months.

Buddy Mack.
Title: Re: If you take “LITHIUM” read this post you can die from it.
Post by: paulm on February 02, 2017, 04:48:40 am
Hello Buddy Mack. Doctors are notorious for not putting proper dosing on the instructions or at least thinking them through. I was once taking my meds wrong and the doctor asked why I took them that way!!!!! I said that was they way they were prescribed and her reply was " well the pharmacist should have known better!!!!"

 As I said before much of what you have printed is something that everyone should know.

 Some of the major causes of lithium toxicity are pretty easy to acquire and there certainly isn't enough warning about this.  Factors that can bring about lithium toxicity in a hurry.

 1) any sort of dehydration, whether it be sitting out in the sun or from sports. When I played hockey I would pre hydrate and then continue to drink water during the game. If a person drinks alcohol than their last couple drinks should be water to help rehydrate.

 2) Getting the flu of the runs. Lithium is fairly easy to start and stop, so if you get the flu etc, you have to decide whether to keep taking your lithium and chance an over dose as your fluid content goes down hill. 2 yrs ago I had 8 top teeth taken out. A) I bleed for two days and B) I just could not drink much, it hurt when I drank and I slept most of those two days any ways. I had stopped taking my lithium so I wasn't affected.

 3) Maintain a normal level of table salt in your diet. I've has a zillion arguments about how Lithium is a salt and how we should cut back on table salt if we take lthium, NOT TRUE,  A low salt intake resulting in low tubular concentration of sodium will increase lithium re absorption and might result in retention or intoxication.  Dogs given 20 mg/kg/day of lithium chloride
showed no signs of toxicity when fed a normal salt diet, but died in 2-4 weeks when fed a low sodium diet. : source drug mongraph

 That's because lithium salts are much different than table salts. Salt when used in conjunction with Lithium just means the type of lithium that it is in this case. The active part of Lithium salts can be found in  Li+  on the other hand Li 6 is used for making nuclear bombs. I would hate to get them mixed up LOL. Unfortunately I've heard docs tell people to limit their salt intake when taking lithium because they didn't understand the variation of  salts. Take Care. paul m
Title: Re: If you take “LITHIUM” read this post you can die from it.
Post by: Stenacron man on February 02, 2017, 04:15:07 pm
Totally correct Paul every few know about the salt intake. Also taking Naproxen, ibuprofen severely elevate lithium levels. Taking it with BP med like i was is very dangerous. Any diuretic Blood pressure medications should not be taken while on lithium the one I was on was; Triamterene / HCTZ 50/25.   

Buddy mack