I recently saw an endocrinologist in my area (Utah) who suspects I may have an insulinoma, and recommended a 72-hour supervised fast to rule it out. However, he told me he was unable to facilitate the test, and that I may have to go to Mayo to get it done. Since the supervised fast only involves blood work and observation this seemed strange to me. However, after checking with several local doctors and hospitals, I have been informed that none of them will conduct the test, due to the inherent risks (severe symptoms induced by hypoglycemia). Basically it sounds like they are concerned about liability.
How common is it for patients to come to Mayo for specific testing (pre-diagnosis)? I’ve read that a doctor’s referral goes a long way towards expediting the appointment process. Does this apply in this sort of scenario as well?
Also, if there is anyone reading this who has been tested for or diagnosed with an insulinoma, I would love to hear how coordinating the testing worked for you.
A little history:
I am a 27 year old female. For 2 1/2 years now I have been experiencing periodic episodes of low blood sugar during fasting. Each is accompanied by symptoms (hunger, shakiness, dizziness, palpitations, clumsiness, tingling, nausea, headache, abdominal discomfort, confusion), and relieved by glucose administration. When the episodes first began, they were very frequent, and waking me up from sleep. I had to get up every few hours to have a snack. Since then I have since been able to reduce and manage them by strictly adhering to a low glycemic index diet and eating small meals every 2-3 hours.