Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Exercise-induced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia

Other Names for this Disease
  • Exercise induced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia
  • HHF7
  • Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia exercise-induced
  • Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia familial 7
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

I have been a distance running coach for many years, and in that time have had about a half dozen athletes who develop hypoglycemic like symptoms about half way through a 5K race. What are the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia? How can this condition be treated? What other conditions might be causing these symptoms? Looking for possible answers and treatments. Thanks.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is exercise induced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia?

Exercise induced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia is characterized by a sudden and exaggerated spike in insulin and drop in blood sugar levels. The condition is triggered by vigorous exercise. Signs and symptoms include fainting (syncope),[1] shakiness, nervousness, sweating, dizziness or light-headedness, sleepiness, confusion, difficulty speaking, anxiety, and weakness.[2]
Last updated: 12/4/2013

How might exercise induced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia be treated?

There is limited information regarding the treatment of exercise induced hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. The following treatments were effective in treating individual patients:[1]

Diazoxide therapy (a drug that lowers insulin production)
Diazoxide therapy and partial pancreatectomy (surgical removal of a portion of the pancreas)
Exercise avoidance
Last updated: 12/4/2013

What are some other causes of breathlessness and exercise intolerance?

Breathlessness and exercise intolerance can have many causes. These symptoms could be a sign of an undiagnosed heart or lung condition/abnormality, exercise-induced bronchospasm, or exercise-induced asthma.[3] To know for certain the cause of your student's symptoms we strongly recommend that he/she speak with his/her healthcare provider.
Last updated: 12/4/2013