Insulinoma is a type of neuroendocrine tumour (NET) of the pancreas. Its symptoms can be vague. See your GP if you are worried.
Insulinomas make the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of blood sugar in the body. So doctors call them a type of functioning neuroendocrine tumour of the pancreas.
The most common symptoms of insulinomas are caused by changes in the blood sugar level. You usually have symptoms when your blood sugar is low.
Weakness and tiredness
You might feel very tired a lot of the time.
Headaches are a common symptom of many illnesses. You should see your doctor if you:
- have very bad headaches (especially if you wake up every day with a headache)
- have headaches more and more often
- have headaches when you didn’t have them before
- have headaches and sickness together
Problems with your eyes
You might have double vision and blurred vision.
Forgetfulness and confusion
You might forget things more easily and you, or the people that are close to you, may notice that you are confused.
Behaving in a way that isn’t normal for you
The people that are close to you might notice this.
Hunger and sickness
You might feel that you are hungry all the time. You may also feel or be sick.
Sweating and tremors
You might have a sudden onset of sweating and feel like you are shaking or having tremors.
You may feel that your heart is racing. This can make you feel dizzy, breathless and lightheaded.
The Whipple’s triad is a collection of symptoms that help doctors diagnose an insulinoma. It includes:
- symptoms of a low blood sugar such as feeling dizzy and sweating
- a blood sugar level lower than 2.2 mmol per litre of blood
- feeling better after eating food with a high amount of sugar, or after having a glucose drip