Message Number: SG5628 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2003-08-03 04:01:57 UTC
Subject: RE: Insulinoma and Diabetes
Message-ID: <>

Actually, although it sounds contradictory, it does happen.

Here's how it occurs: The insulinoma occurs first, liberating high levels of insulin. We combat it with prednisone, which raises the blood glucose in spite of the high insulin levels. AFter months of high insulin levels, the body gradually downregulates the insulin receptors on the cells, which are being overstimulated. As the cells become non-insulin responsive, the animal develops diabetes. Its a form on insulin-unresponsive diabetes (Type 2), and it seen not infrequently in ferrets on long-term prednisone for insulinoma control.

The blood doesn't alternate between high and low - the pattern you see in these ferret is that it is low for a long time, then all of a sudden it goes in to the 250-350 range or higher.

Another reason to consider surgical treatment in younger ferrets as soon as the disease is diagnosed.

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, DVM

Author wrote:
> This seems to be a contradiction. Insulinoma causes low blood glucose while diabetes causes high blood glucose. Insulinoma's effects are because too much insulin is being produced while diabetes' effects are because too little insulin is being produced.
> While it's true that insulinoma ferrets that undergo a partial pancreatectomy may experience a transient high glucose after surgery, I don't recall ever hearing of a ferret that spontaneously had diabetes like high glucose readings alternating with insulinoma like low glucose readings. Possible I suppose, but it seems pretty unlikely.