ADH is anti-diuretic hormone, a normal hormone in the body. An anti-diuretic reduces the amount of water your body eliminates. Ectopic ADH secretion is the production and release of ADH at a site other than the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. This makes your body unable to eliminate water appropriately, resulting in hyponatremia (low sodium in your blood).
The most common cause of ectopic ADH secretion is cancer (for example, small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer). See also syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH) and the ADH test.
by Martin A. Harms, M.D.
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