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November 30, 2002


Question from Ellendale, North Dakota, USA:

My husband, who has had diabetes since age nine, recently went into an insulin reaction. His blood sugar after putting sugar in his body was 51 mg/dl [2.8 mmol/L], he couldn't talk or move for quite a while, and he got quite sick. These things were to be expected for an insulin reaction, but he went into shock and not long after that he turned a yellowish orange color. I have never seen this before, and neither has his mother. The doctors took many tests and couldn't tell me anything. Can you tell me why my husband turned a yellowish orange color during an insulin reaction?


I cannot tell you why he changed colors to a yellow orange color. Transient color change can occur with level of circulation, ability to oxygenate the blood, or other conditions. The only color change associated with yellow/orange color change is if liver abnormalities exist. If they do, the color change is usually not transient and persists long enough to show up on blood tests.