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HomeAnswersEndocrinologyinsulinomaDo high cortisol and insulin levels indicate insulinoma?

I have fasting hypoglycemia, and my blood reports show high cortisol and insulin levels. Why?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Sushrutha M.

Published At September 12, 2021
Reviewed AtJune 9, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have always had issues with fasting hypoglycemia (not diabetic). I recently had blood work done which also showed abnormally high cortisol and insulin levels. Any ideas on what could cause these things together? Sudden weight gain about a year ago of 15 lbs. Already healthy person. I tracked my diet more strictly and worked out even more, but the weight did not budge. I have been gained at least half pound every one to two weeks for about a month. My blood test shows low T3 and low A1c.

Kindly give your opinion.

Answered by Dr. Utkarsh Sharma


Welcome to icliniq.com.

What about random and post-prandial blood sugar levels? Cortisol and insulin have opposing actions. Cortisol and growth hormones could be elevated as a compensatory mechanism to counter insulin release. We need to rule out insulinoma. It is a rare tumor of the pancreas made of beta islet cells, the same cells in the pancreas producing insulin and controlling blood glucose. In normal circumstances, your pancreas makes more insulin when the blood glucose is high and less when the blood glucose is low. But an insulinoma secretes insulin consistently, even when the blood glucose gets too low than normal. To diagnose if you have an insulinoma, your blood sugar, insulin, C-peptide, and proinsulin will be tested during a 72-hour rest. Additional imaging modalities like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computed tomography) may also be required.

I hope this was helpful.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Utkarsh Sharma
Dr. Utkarsh Sharma


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