ABSTRACT: Patients suffering from this disorder mimic symptoms of diseases and seek medical procedures and operations. We present a case of a patient who underwent a thorough investigation for unexplained persistent hypoglycemia. According to the algorithm approach to the non-diabetic patient, we measured insulin and c-peptide plasma levels while glucose levels were low and looked for sulphonylurea, blood and urine traces. Following the above, an endoscopic ultrasound demonstrated a small pancreatic lesion and an explorative laparotomy was performed to detect an insulinoma. This procedure was complicated by partial colectomy due to colonic gangrene. Following the patient's recovery, hypoglycemia recurred and the laboratory tests were repeated, revealing trace amounts of glipizide in her serum and urine. Studies which examined the prevalence of the phenomenon among cases of unexplained hypoglycemia, including patients who were operated for presumed insulinoma, were reviewed. No specific therapy for factitious disorder has been established. Management is based upon psychotherapy which is often not very effective. We recommend that one has to keep in mind that negative tests for sulphonylurea traces in serum and urine, do not contradict the diagnosis of factitious disorder, and it is recommended to repeat these tests several times.
Harefuah 10/2011; 150(10):778-9, 815, 814.