GEORGE GRUNBERGER, M.D.; JANE L. WEINER, M.S.W.; ROBERT SILVERMAN, M.D., Ph.D.; SIMEON TAYLOR, M.D., Ph.D.; PHILLIP GORDEN, M.D.
Ten patients had factitious hypoglycemia due to surreptitious insulin injections diagnosed and were followed for up to 15 years (median, 5 years; range, 2 months to 15 years). When available, demonstration of anti-insulin antibodies was the most helpful diagnostic test. Decreased plasma C-peptide levels corroborated the diagnosis. Young women (nine of ten) with knowledge of the medical profession or relatives with diabetes mellitus predominated in the sample. Five of the patients had a history of insulin-requiring diabetes mellitus. Two patients eventually committed suicide despite the best efforts at therapy. Only three of ten patients made a successful transition into productive life after the diagnosis of factitious hypoglycemia was established. Factitious hypoglycemia remains a difficult diagnosis to make, and the long-term outcome after the diagnosis is established is unpredictable. All efforts have to be made to confirm the diagnosis before the patients are approached. The confrontation is to be made by an experienced team of health care professionals who have gained the patient's confidence through an understanding but firm manner. Long-term therapy must be planned and initiated before the patient's discharge.
GRUNBERGER G, WEINER JL, SILVERMAN R, TAYLOR S, GORDEN P. Factitious Hypoglycemia Due to Surreptitious Administration of Insulin: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Long-Term Follow-Up. Ann Intern Med. ;108:252–257. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-2-252
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(2):252-257.
Cardiology, Coronary Risk Factors, Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolism.
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