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Insulinoma Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Insulinoma?

It is a rare form of pancreatic tumor. The tumor makes excessive levels of insulin (hormone). In majority instances of insulinoma, the tumor is non-cancerous. As the tumor makes too much insulin, this can cause low blood sugar, a condition commonly known as hypoglycemia. Usually, surgery is needed to remove the tumor.

What Are The Symptoms Of Inuslinoma?

Few common symptoms of insulinoma are:

  • Behavior changes.
  • Anxiety.
  • Convulsions.
  • Confusion.
  • Coma.
  • Clouded vision.
  • Weight gain.
  • Tremor.
  • Sweating.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Hunger.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.

What Causes Insulinoma?

Pancreas is the organ responsible for producing some hormones and enzymes. It is positioned in our abdomen. Insulin is a hormone produced by our pancreas. The hormone helps to lower the level of glucose in our blood. Normally, when the level of blood sugar falls considerably, our pancreas halts the production of insulin until the level turns normal.

What leads to the development of a tumor is unknown. The tumor of the pancreas tends to make excessive insulin even if the levels of blood sugar drop. In addition to this, increased level of blood insulin instigates a condition known as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Insulinoma is rare, and often occurs as a small tumor. It is more common in adults and is rarely diagnosed in children. Individuals with genetic syndrome known as multiple endocrine neoplasea type 1 tends to be more likely to contract insulinomas plus other tumors of endocrine.

How Is Insulinoma Diagnosed?

The patient will be asked to fast, after which the blood will be tested for:

  • Blood insulin level.
  • Blood glucose level.
  • Blood C-peptide level.

In order to detect the tumor in your pancreas, the doctor can suggest any of the following:

  • MRI scan (abdomen).
  • PET scan.
  • CT scan.

How Is Insulinoma Treated?

More often, the treatment option of surgery is recommended to remove the tumor. However, medicines are prescribed to make the patient stable prior conduction the surgery. In case there is a single tumor, then the tumor is removed, however if there are several tumors, then the surgeon removes the part of pancreas. (In order to digest the food we eat, we need enzymes. Thus, minimum fifteen percent of pancreas has to be left for making enzymes).

Quite rarely, pancreas is removed completely in case insulinoma recurs or are numerous. This can result in diabetes due to no source of insulin production. In such a case, the patient needs insulin injections.

What Is The Prognosis Of Insulinoma?

In majority of its instances, the tumor is benign, that is non cancerous, thus surgery can help cure insulinoma. However if the tumor is cancerous or the reaction of hypoglycemia is severe, then the condition can turn serious for the patient.


By : Natural Health News

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