If a person without diabetes or any diabetes-related issues receives an injection of insulin, what happens? Would the blood glucose level drop or does the body naturally compensate for the added insulin? What biological process occurs?

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    $\begingroup$ I tried to clarify your question text a bit - FYI $\endgroup$ Feb 6, 2016 at 14:06

3 Answers 3

  1. Blood sugar drops (Hypoglycaemia)
  2. There are several other uses of insulin (other than diabetic treatment)

Some of those could be:

  • Diagnostics
  • Psychology (Narcoanalysis)
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • Cardiology (Glucose–insulin–potassium solution (GIP or GIK solution) is given after a myocardial infarction)
  • Malignancy (Insulin potentiation therapy (IPT))
  • Psychiatry (Deep insulin coma therapy (DICT))


  • $\begingroup$ Insulin coma therapy is, as far as I know, one of the things like lobotomy. Sure, patients got more "manageable", but to call it psychiatry nowadays is a mistake. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Feb 6, 2016 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Mołot according to "Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Mar; 16(Suppl1): S57–S59." "schizophrenia patients were injected with insulin to induce severe hypoglycaemia for 10–15 minutes. Thereafter, the hypoglycaemia was reversed by infusing glucose". however, you are correct it cant be referred to as psychiatry nowadays, simply due to the reason of it being discredited in the late 1950s. $\endgroup$
    – Ebbinghaus
    Feb 6, 2016 at 17:54

It is possible to overdose and die of an insulin injection. Obviously, if enough is injected fast enough, the body can't recompense appropriately and and the person would die of hypoglycaemia. Below around 20mg/dL of blood sugar levels in the blood you are likely to suffer brain damage and eventually death.


depends on how much injected, you could just feel lightheaded or you might get yourself into an insulin induced coma, serious cases, yeah, one could die. There's a certain blood insulin level that the body can naturally compensate to maintain homeostasis, like I said before, depends on the injected amount. sidenote - Watch 'A Beautiful Mind', it shows the usage of insulin shock therapy (insulin coma therapy (ICT)) to "reduce" schizophrenia.

  • $\begingroup$ Any sources to add? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Feb 6, 2016 at 17:26

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