Transient Diabetes Associated With Withdrawal of Lithium Therapy

  1. Onyebuchi E. Okosieme, MRCP,
  2. Andrew Campbell, MBBCH,
  3. Katie Patton, MBBCH and
  4. Marc L. Evans, MD, MRCP
  1. From the Centre for Endocrine and Diabetes Science, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, U.K
  1. Address correspondence to Dr. Onyebuchi E. Okosieme, Centre for Endocrine and Diabetes Science, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, U.K. E-mail: okosiemeoe{at}cf.ac.uk

We describe a patient with bipolar disease who developed diabetic ketoacidosis following discontinuation of long-term lithium treatment. Diabetes resolved completely after 7 months of insulin therapy. Transient diabetes in this patient could have been precipitated by withdrawal of lithium therapy.

A 26-year-old white male was admitted to our hospital with vomiting and abdominal pain. He suffered from bipolar disorder and had been on lithium treatment for 3 years. Six weeks before presentation, he had discontinued lithium due to persistent tremors and 2 weeks afterward developed excessive thirst …

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