The treatment for hyperinsulinism will vary based on the severity of the condition. Hyperinsulinism is when there is a large amount of insulin in the blood typically caused by excessive insulin secretion by the pancreas. It can also be caused by an excessive insulin dose. Hyperinsulinism usually results in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
However, extreme cases may result in insulin shock. The response to these conditions will vary from person to person and may also depend upon what medications you are taking, if any.
Symptoms can include hunger, shakiness, nervousness, sweating, headache, dizziness, confusion, weakness, and emotional instability. In severe cases, there may be unconsciousness, convulsions, coma, and even death.
The normal hypoglycemia treatment is to check your blood glucose level. If the level is below 70 mg/dL, eating some glucose rich food or drink is appropriate. For example, adults would consume one of the following:
- 4 ounces of fruit juice or regular soda
- 8 ounces of milk
- 5-6 pieces of hard candy
- 1 tablespoon of honey or sugar
- 3-4 glucose tablets
Check the blood glucose level again in 15 minutes. If still too low, consume another fix of the glucose rich food or drink. Repeat until glucose level returns to a normal level. If a meal is an hour or more away after the fixes have raised the glucose level, then a snack should be eaten.
If the hyperinsulinism results in insulin shock, you may even pass out. A shot of glucagon is often given to try and raise the glucose level.
The best treatment for hyperinsulinism is to be proactive and consult with your physician about the best response. Because the condition can result in unconsciousness, your doctor will often counsel you on how to work with your family, friends, employer and/or school to treat you if this occurs. Hypoglycemia can be preventable, learn how.
National Institute of Health, Publication 09-3926, Hypoglycemia, October 2008 (Accessed December 2008).
Online Medical Dictionary, Cancer Web UK
By Erich Schultz – Last Reviewed February 2012.