• Hyperinsulinism: causes, symptoms and treatment

    Hyperinsulinism is a condition in which an elevated level of the insulin hormone in the blood arises, and as a result, the blood sugar level drops sharply. Normally, insulin is produced in the pancreas in the islets of Langerhans. With hyperinsulinism, islets begin to produce a hormone more than necessary, causing a pathological condition.

    Among all forms of the disease distinguish primary hyperinsulinism, which is also called pancreatic, that is, arising from pancreatic pathology, and secondary. In a secondary disease the cause of hyperinsulinism can be a variety of diseases, and therefore this form is called extrapancreatic /

    The disease can affect both the entire area of ​​the islets in the pancreas and be focal, that is, changes occur in any part of the gland tissue.

    The causes of the appearance of hyperinsulinism

    The causes of the disease are:

    • Benign and malignant tumors arising in the islets of Langerhans.
    • Diseases of the central nervous system.
    • Tumor or diffuse pancreatic hyperplasia. Excess weight.
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    • Initial stages of diabetes mellitus.
    • The defeat of the endocrine system( hypophysis, hypothalamus).
    • Metabolic disorders.
    • Vnepankreaticheskie reasons - diseases of the stomach, liver, gall bladder.
    • Inadequate intake and maintenance of sugar in the blood.
    • Prolonged fasting( anorexia, pyloric stenosis).
    • Rapid loss of carbohydrates due to fever or heavy physical work.

    Symptoms of hyperinsulinism

    In the case of hyperinsulinism, symptoms are caused by low blood sugar. As is known, glucose plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, and the glycogen reserve( glucose derivative) is needed by cells as a source of energy. Therefore, hyperinsulinism is characterized by the following symptoms:

    • Severe weakness, right up to loss of consciousness.
    • Headaches.
    • Tachycardia.
    • Increased sweating.
    • Overexcitation.
    • Feeling of severe hunger.
    • Decrease in pressure and body temperature.
    • Tremors in the lower limbs.
    • Pale skin.
    • Feeling of fear, depression.
    • State of disorientation.
    • Seizures similar to an epileptic seizure.

    Hyperinsulinism can be both acute and chronic. Chronic hyperinsulinism in severe cases can result in a coma. In addition, the chronic form of the disease can be accompanied by an apathetic state, a decrease in mental abilities, and men note the development of weakness and decreased potency.

    This is due to the fact that the brain starts to get on average 20% less glucose and oxygen, resulting in chronic oxygen starvation of the brain, causing a disruption of all organs and systems.

    Functional hyperinsulinism develops against the background of other endocrine system diseases, and is considered as a secondary hyperinsulinism. Most often this form of the disease occurs with Cushing's disease( hyperproduction of adrenal cortex hormones) and with acromegaly( increased production of growth hormones).

    Hyperinsulinism in children does not appear as vividly as in adults, but if the mechanism of formation of the insulin hormone is disrupted, as the child grows and develops, the symptoms of hyperinsulinism increase.

    Recently, such a condition as congenital hyperinsulinism has become more common. The causes that can lead to this serious disorder are unknown, so this form of the disease in newborns is also called idiopathic hyperinsulinism.

    Congenital organic hyperinsulinism may occur against the background of adverse heredity, since the cause of the genetic defect is not excluded.

    Treatment of hyperinsulinism

    When the disease is hyperinsulinism, treatment is most often operative( with pancreatic tumors), since conservative methods do not give a good effect. The aim of the operation is to remove the part of the pancreas where there is a tumor. In the postoperative period, the death rate of patients( 8-10%) is noted.

    If the cause of the onset of the disease is extra-pancreatic causes, then these diseases are first treated.

    For patients with this diagnosis, a special diet is developed, which includes foods rich in complex carbohydrates. The nature of the food - fractional, in small portions, but 5-6 times a day.

    First aid in case of patients' loss of consciousness is the urgent introduction of an intravenous solution of glucose. If the patient feels the approach of an attack, then hot sweet tea is needed, which can quickly improve the patient's condition.

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