Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia

Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia

Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, also known as non-diabetic hypoglycemia, is a metabolic disorder in which there is an abnormally high level of insulin in the blood. This condition is often caused by an abnormally low glucose level in the blood and can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, irritability and confusion.

The most common causes of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia include medications such as sulphonylureas, meglitinides and insulin, as well as other medical conditions such as insulinoma (tumor of the pancreas), liver disease, and environmental and dietary factors. It can also be caused by an insulin overload from certain types of exercise.

Symptoms of Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia

The symptoms of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia can vary from person to person, but typically include:

  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Slurred speech
  • Irritability
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pale skin

Diagnosis & Treatment of Hyperinsulinemic Hypoglycemia

The diagnosis of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia can be difficult, as many of the symptoms can be similar to other illnesses. An analysis of the patient’s symptoms, medical history and physical examination can help to narrow down the diagnosis.

In order to confirm a diagnosis of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia, the doctor may order a glucose tolerance test. This test involves the patient drinking a sugary solution and then having their glucose levels measured at various intervals. Other blood tests, such as measuring insulin levels, may also be done.

Treatment of hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is a medication, then stopping or adjusting the dose may be recommended. If the cause is an insulinoma, then it may need to be surgically removed.

The goals of treatment are to reduce symptoms and prevent hypoglycemic episodes. Dietary changes may be recommended, including eating frequent small meals and avoiding refined carbohydrates.