Hyperinsulinemia is a disorder caused by high levels of the hormone insulin that is too high in the bloodstream than blood sugar levels. Although known as the hallmark of a diabetic condition, insulin levels too high can be a sign of metabolic disorders in a person, it can even occur at the age of the baby, this is known as congenital hyperinsulinemia (hyperinsulinemia in infants).
Know congenital hyperinsulinemia
Congenital hyperinsulinemia is a congenital disease that causes excessive insulin production in a person. This is due to abnormalities in insulin-producing cells in the pancreas gland or pancreatic beta cells.
In normal circumstances pancreatic beta cells produce enough insulin and are only produced to balance blood sugar levels at normal levels. As a result, babies who experience hyperinsulinemia will experience blood sugar levels that are too low. This condition can have a fatal impact because blood sugar is very necessary to maintain physiological functions in the baby's body.
Hyperinsulinemia in infants can usually be identified through several symptoms that occur during infancy (age less than 12 months) or until the age of under 18 months. However, the disorder can also be sedentary or newly discovered at the age of children to adults, with fewer cases. This is because congenital hyperinsulinemia has clinical, genetic characteristics. and varying disease progression.
Causes of hyperinsulinemia in infants
Genetic abnormalities in insulin-producing cells in the pancreas gland are thought to be the main cause of congenital hyperinsulinemia. Nonetheless, around 50% of cases found no genetic mutations. In some cases - although rare - show that this disorder is a inherited condition in a family, there are at least nine genes that are inherited and can trigger congenital hyperinsulinemia. In addition, there are no known risk factors associated with the condition of pregnancy in the occurrence of congenital hyperinsulinemia.
Signs and complications in infants with hyperinsulinemia
Low blood sugar levels occur below 60 mg /dL, but low blood sugar levels due to hyperinsulinemia are estimated to be below 50 mg /dL. Based on the symptoms, signs of congenital infant hyperinsulinemia are difficult to recognize because they are very similar to normal baby conditions in general.
Babies can be suspected of having congenital hyperinsulinemia if they:
- Too fussy
- Easy to sleep
- Shows signs of lethargy or loss of consciousness
- Continuous hunger
- The heart beats fast
While congenital hyperinsulinemia that occurs after entering the age of children has common symptoms such as hypoglycemia in general, including:
- Easy to get tired
- Experiencing confusion or difficulty thinking
- Having tremor
- The heart beats fast
In addition, the condition of blood sugar levels that are too low for a long time can trigger symptoms such as coma, convulsions, and permanent brain damage. These complications will also have an impact on central nerve development such as growth disorders, nervous system disorders (focal neurological deficits), and mental retardation, although there is only very little brain damage.
Congenital hyperinsulinemia is also at risk of causing premature death if prolonged hypoglycemia is not treated or not resolved appropriately.
What can be done?
Congenital hyperinsulinemia is a rare and difficult to recognize genetic disorder that is even likely to occur for a long time without adequate treatment. Detection and treatment as early as possible is needed to prevent long-term complications and death. Prospective parents can also find out the chance of their child to experience congenital hyperinsulinemia by conducting a genetic examination of the carrier of the disorder.
One form of treatment available is pancreatectomy or cutting part of the pancreas that is detected as having an abnormality. After the treatment is carried out hypoglycemia tends to be more easily controlled and there is an opportunity to recover within a period of several months or years later.
However, it should be noted that there is also a possibility that hypoglycemia conditions can persist even after pancreatic cutting 95-98%. In addition, pancreatectomy also has side effects, namely an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus in the future.
Someone with congenital hyperinsulinemia is also likely to need long-term treatment to regulate blood sugar levels always in a stable state. The help of a nutritionist may be needed to plan a diet for sufferers. Blood sugar levels need to be monitored by both the patient and the immediate family. They also have to recognize signs of hypoglycemia and what to do to overcome them.
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