ADH stands for Antidiuretic hormone. It is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland. ADH plays a vital role in maintaining water balance in the body. Its primary function is to regulate the amount of water excreted by the kidneys, consequently controlling the body's fluid concentration.
When the body senses a decrease in blood volume or an increase in blood osmolarity (amount of solutes), such as during dehydration or excessive sweating, the hypothalamus stimulates the release of ADH. Once released into the bloodstream, ADH binds to receptors in the kidney tubules, reducing the amount of water lost through urine production.
By increasing water reabsorption, ADH helps in reducing urine output and concentrating the urine, aiding in the maintenance of proper fluid balance in the body. This mechanism allows the body to conserve water and prevent dehydration.
Disturbances in ADH production or release can lead to disorders such as diabetes insipidus or syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), causing imbalances in fluid regulation and potentially leading to dehydration or fluid overload.
Overall, ADH is a crucial hormone that helps maintain water balance by regulating the excretion of water in response to changes in blood volume and osmolarity.