Sometimes Rosemary McGinn would act so drunk that coworkers would send her home from work.
McGinn, a 54-year-old real estate agent from New York, told Fox News that she “would become very combative, not knowing what I was saying and sway back and forth.”
But she wasn’t drunk. Ever.
Her mysterious symptoms lasted years.
For a while McGinn thought she had low blood sugar, and would try to stave off its effects by relying on sugary snacks throughout her day, but that didn’t always work.
One day while driving she forgot where she lived. Then, she couldn’t name the president, or what year it was. Later, she woke up from her confused state in her kitchen to find paramedics standing over her.
Once she arrived at the local hospital, doctors McGinn had a tumour in her pancreas the size of a pencil eraser. A tiny tumour wouldn’t usually cause such odd symptoms, but this one had some very rare features.
It was an insulinoma, a tumour that was erroneously creating insulin. Insulin regulates how the body uses sugar, instructing cells to store it right after we eat a sugary snack. Because she was always producing insulin, her body was always absorbing and storing it, which caused her incredibly low blood-sugar levels.
After her medical mystery was solved, surgeons removed the tumour, and McGinn says she is now happily back to normal and focusing on losing the weight she gained from the sugary snacks being stored by her body as fat.
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