Pancreatic Cancer; 10 Silent Signs & Symptoms

4. Hypoglycemia

We have already talked about diabetes-like symptoms, which arise from an increase in the levels of glucose in the blood. In some patients, we will rather find the opposite, and they suffer from hypoglycemia instead of high sugar levels. There’s a type of pancreatic cancer that is made of pancreatic beta cells, the ones that synthesize and secrete insulin. In this specific type of pancreatic cancer, the uncontrolled growth of the pancreatic tissue creates more and more cells capable of synthesizing insulin, and they would do so without any restraint, and independent from the levels of glucose in the blood. As a result, patients would have excessive levels of insulin in the body, which forces glucose inside the muscle fibers, and decreases the levels of sugar in the blood.

This unusual type of cancer is named insulinoma, and in most cases, it is a benign condition, but not always. Patients with an insulinoma would feel lightheadedness, dizziness, a sensation of fainting, sweating, muscle weakness, and related symptoms. They may also have low blood pressure along with hypoglycemia, which may lead them to an emergency room continuously to recover from their symptoms.

If you experience hypoglycemia continuously, there are plenty of other diseases to rule out, and they are more common than pancreatic cancer. For example, certain metabolic imbalances cause hypoglycemia, and you should look through your diet and physical activity to check the appropriate balance between energy intake and expenditure. All of this assessment should be performed by a professional, and even an expert on the field would require a series of lab tests, imaging tests, and even a biopsy to diagnose cancer.