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Insulinoma | Peer Reviewed Journals


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Insulinoma

An insulinoma is a small tumor in the pancreas that produces an excess amount of insulin. In most cases, the tumor isn’t cancerous. Most insulinomas are less than 2 centimeters in diameter.

The pancreas is an endocrine organ located behind your stomach. One of its functions is to produce hormones that control the level of sugar in your bloodstream, such as insulin. Normally, the pancreas stops creating insulin when your blood sugar drops too low. This allows your blood sugar levels to return to normal. When an insulinoma forms in your pancreas, however, it will continue to produce insulin, even when your blood sugar is too low. This can lead to severe hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition that can cause blurred vision, lightheadedness, and unconsciousness. It can also be life-threatening.

An insulinoma usually needs to be surgically removed. Once the tumor is removed, complete recovery is very likely. Insulinomas are the most common cause of hypoglycemia resulting from endogenous hyperinsulinism. Approximately 90-95% of insulinomas are benign, and long-term cure with total resolution of preoperative symptoms is expected after complete resection.   An insulinoma is a rare tumour of the beta cells in the pancreas that results in an excessive amount of insulin being produced. As insulinomas produce insulin, they can cause hypoglycemia and lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. They generally occur in people between the ages of 40 and 60. Insulinomas can be a cause of diabetes if the treatment of insulinoma requires a significant amount of the pancreas to be removed.

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