What is an insulinoma?

An insulinoma is a tumor, usually benign (non-cancerous), made up of specialized beta islet cells that constantly secrete insulin, causing hypoglycemia (low blood glucose–sugar). Normally, as the glucose rises with eating, the pancreas responds by secreting more insulin, which in turn helps utilize or store the glucose and its blood level drops back down into a safe range. Subsequently, as the glucose level continues to fall toward the lower limit of normal (normal, 60-100mg/dL), the secretion of insulin (by the normal beta cells in the pancreas) stops, and this allows the glucose to remain in the normal range. 
John A. Chabot
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

Insulinomas arise from the islet cells of the pancreas and produce excessive amounts of insulin, resulting in low blood sugar. Typically small and noninvasive, these tumors are benign 90% of the time.

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