The first question that arises in your mind would be what exactly is insulinoma, isn’t it? If you people are aware about this tumour, yes, you heard it right you just mentioned to me! Insulinoma is nothing but a tiny tumour that develops in the pancreas when the body starts producing an excess amount of incidence. And in a majority number of cases, this growth of tumour can be cancerous. This insulinoma is always less than 2 cm in diameter.
Pancreas is known to be situated behind a stomach and it is an endocrine or Bing. One of its major functions is to supply hormones that help in controlling levels of sugar in our bloodstream such as insulin. In a normal and healthy functioning body, the pancreas tends to stop creating insulin when the body‘s blood sugar levels drop very low. This provides a body enough time to return its blood sugar levels back to normal. When insulinoma begins to form inside of pancreas, it will always produce insulin continuously even when our body’s blood sugar levels drop low. This could lead to hypoglycemia which is a very dangerous condition that can result in consciousness, blurred vision, and lightheadedness. It is also said to be a life threatening condition. According to experts, in most of the cases, insulinoma is removed surgically. And once the tumour is removed from the body, complete rest and recovery is advised. surgically.
Let’s have a look at some of the symptoms of insulinoma
People who have insulinoma do not always exhibit noticeable symptoms. Whenever symptoms appear, they can highly vary depending on the scale of severity of this particular condition.
Some symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Irritability and anxiety
- Blurred vision or double vision
- Weight gain
There are much more severe symptoms that can directly affect the brain. Some symptoms start affecting the adrenal gland which is responsible to regulate heart rate and stress response of a body.
Sometimes, certain symptoms are very similar to an epilepsy condition which is a neurological disorder that results in seizures. Some serious symptoms of Insulinoma are:
- Coma Or losing consciousness
- Seizures or convulsions
- High heart rate that of 95 bpm or even greater
- Difficulty in concentrating
In certain cases, insulinomas begin to get bigger and tend to spread to different parts of the body. When this happens, following other symptoms – back pain, abdominal pain, jaundice, diarrhoea, or yellowing of skin.
What really leads to insulinoma developing?
Doctors do not really have an answer as to why certain people get insulinoma. These tumours appear out of nowhere without any warning. When we eat food, the pancreas inside the body creates insulin. And we know that incidence is that hormone that helps our body to store sugar from the food that we consume. Once the sugar has been collected from the food, the pancreas. Producing insulin. This entire process helps in keeping the levels of a blood sugar stable. However, insulinoma disrupts this entire process. The tumour that grows inside pancreas begins to produce insulin even when blood sugar levels drop very low. This leads to a condition called hyperglycaemia Ch is usually characterised by appearances on low levels of blood sugar in our body
How is insulinoma diagnosed?
Doctor will definitely have a certain blood test to be performed in order to check your insulin levels and blood sugar levels. A lower level of blood sugar will cause a higher level of insulin indicating that there is an existence of insulinoma.
Dr will also prescribe certain tests that can help check for medications that have caused the pancreas to release more insulin, or certain hormones that are affecting insulin production in the body, or are there any proteins that are blocking insulin production.
Sometimes the doctor might order you to go on a 72 hours fast if the blood indicates any sign of insulinoma. During this entire 72 hours fast, you are asked to stay in the hospital while your doctor monitors your blood sugar levels now and then. They might check your blood sugar levels and measure it at least every six hours. You will not be allowed to drink or eat anything except normal water during this entire first if you have insulinoma you are likely to have low blood sugar levels within just 48 hours of fasting.
An MRI scan or a CT scan will be asked to be done by a doctor in order to determine the size and location of the tumor called insulinoma.
What does insulinoma treatment include?
The best treatment considered for this health condition is to remove the tumour surgical. If more than one tumour exist, very small part of the pancreas itself might be surgically removed as this will typically help in curing the condition faster. There are different types of surgeries which can be performed to remove the tumour. The number of tumours and the location of the tumours are considered in order to determine which type of surgery needs to be used.
If a tiny pancreatic tumour exists, a laparoscopic surgery is preferred. However, there are certain conditions where removing the tumour that is insulinoma will not be the cure. This holds true in conditions where the tumour has become cancerous. Treatments for such cancerous insulinomas are:
- Cryotherapy-this treatment involves usage of extreme cold in order to destroy cancerous cells.
- Chemotherapy-it is a very aggressive version of a chemical drug therapy that helps in destroying cancerous cells.
- Radio frequency ablation-here, radio waves are used to destroy cancerous cells present in the body.