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Alternative cause for hypoglycaemia in insulin-treated diabetes mellitus
  1. Viraj Parmar1,
  2. Vasanth Sritharan1,
  3. Christopher Lawrence2 and
  4. Archana Dhere3
  1. 1General Medicine, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, UK
  2. 2Renal Department, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, UK
  3. 3Endocrinology & Diabetes, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Luton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Archana Dhere; archana.dhere{at}nhs.net

Abstract

We present a case of a 73-year-old woman who developed recurrent hypoglycaemia during a prolonged hospital stay following a mechanical fall. She had a complex history of insulin-treated diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, diffuse systemic cutaneous sclerosis, Raynaud’s disease, previous breast cancer, Barrett’s oesophagus and previous partial gastrectomy for a benign mass. Hypoglycaemia persisted despite weaning of insulin. She had no clinical features of adrenal or pituitary insufficiency with an acceptable cortisol on stopping prednisolone and had an optimal thyroid replacement. A 72-hour fast elicited hypoglycaemia with corresponding low insulin level. Although the C-peptide was detectable, there were no clinical, biochemical or radiological features suggestive of insulinoma. Reactive hypoglycaemia post partial gastrectomy was ruled out based on limited relation of the hypoglycaemia to meals and the low insulin levels. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)-induced hypoglycaemia was considered based on previous case reports and the recent literature, with a successful resolution of hypoglycaemia on discontinuation of HCQ.

  • endocrine system
  • endocrinology
  • diabetes
  • drugs: endocrine system
  • metabolic disorders

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Footnotes

  • Contributors AD, VP and VS: planning, conduct, conception and design of the article; AD, VP, CL and VS: clinical care, organisation and arrangement of the tests; AD, VP and VS: drafting the article; AD and CL: revision and critical analysis; AD: final approval of the version published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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