Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hypoglycemia due to Insulin Overview

Another name for Hypoglycemia due to Insulin is Insulin Reaction.

What is an insulin reaction?
A person with an insulin reaction has low blood sugar, caused by taking too much insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. It stimulates the cells to use sugar, which reduces the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Blood sugar, or glucose, is the brain's only source of energy. If the glucose level drops too low, the brain malfunctions and the person will lose consciousness.

What are the symptoms of an insulin reaction?
The first signs of an insulin reaction include anxiety, weakness, irritability, hunger, flushing, and numbness and tingling. Additional symptoms of an insulin reaction include tremor, nausea, excessive sweating, blurry vision, rapid pulse, palpitations, and lightheadedness. Symptoms of severe insulin reaction include confusion, loss of consciousness, and coma.

How does the doctor treat an insulin reaction?
Treatment for an insulin reaction includes food or juice that contains sugar, or a high carbohydrate snack. Additional treatment for a severe insulin reaction may include intravenous glucose or glucagon injection.

Continue to Hypoglycemia due to Insulin Risk Factors

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hypoglycemia due to Insulin References
  1. Bolli GB. Insulin treatment in type 1 diabetes. Endocr Pract. 2006 Jan-Feb;12 Suppl 1:105-9. [16627392]
  2. Brun JF, Fedou C, Mercier J. Postprandial reactive hypoglycemia. Diabetes Metab. 2000 Nov;26(5):337-51. [11119013]
  3. Cox DJ, Gonder-Frederick LA, Kovatchev BP, Clarke WL. Self-treatment of hypoglycemia while driving. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2001 Oct;54(1):17-26. [11532326]
  4. Herbel G, Boyle PJ. Hypoglycemia. Pathophysiology and treatment. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2000 Dec;29(4):725-43. [11149159]
  5. Koch B. Selected topics of hypoglycemia care. Can Fam Physician. 2006 Apr;52:466-71. [16639972]
  6. Murata GH, Duckworth WC, Hoffman RM, Wendel CS, Mohler MJ, Shah JH. Hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes: a critical review. Biomed Pharmacother. 2004 Dec;58(10):551-9. [15589062]
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