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Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome?

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES) is a disease of the gastrointestinal system. It is a condition in which the body produces too much of the hormone gastrin.

People who have ZES develop tumors known as gastrinomas in the pancreas and duodenum.

Cause Of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is caused by tumors. These growths are commonly found in the head of the pancreas and the upper small intestine. The tumors are called gastrinomas

Gastrinomas occur as single tumors or several tumors. Generally, One-half to two-thirds of single gastrinomas are cancerous (malignant) tumors

Symptoms Of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is not always marked by symptoms. However, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Burning pain in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting blood
  • Bleeding from the stomach
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing
  • Loss of weight
  • Malnourishment
  • Pain in the esophagus, especially between and after meals at night

Diagnosis Of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:

Suspicion of the presence of the disease may occur after observing the above mentioned symptoms.

Confirmed diagnosis may be made by doing the following tests and imaging studies:

  • Secretin stimulation test, which measures evoked gastrin levels
  • Fasting gastrin levels, on at least three separate occasions
  • Gastric acid secretion and pHAn increased level of chromogranin A is a common marker of neuroendocrine tumors
  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Calcium infusion test
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Exploratory surgery
  • Gastrin blood level
  • Octreotide scan

Treatment Of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:

Treatment of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome includes the treatment of the tumor and treatment of excess acid.

  • Treatment of tumor:

The tumor can be surgically removed or can be controlled through the following measures:

  1. Removing as much of a liver tumor as possible (debulking)
  2. Attempting to destroy the tumor by cutting off the blood supply (embolization) or by using heat to destroy cancer cells (radiofrequency ablation)
  3. Injecting drugs into the tumor to relieve cancer symptoms
  4. Using chemotherapy to try to slow tumor growth
  5. A liver transplant
  • Treatment of excess acid:

Medications can be used, which include:

  • Proton pump inhibitor
  • Histamine
  • Iansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid)
  • Pantoprazole (Protonix)
  • Rabeprazole (Aciphex)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)

Complications From Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:

Some common complications may include:

  • Failure to locate the tumor during surgery
  • Intestinal bleeding or hole (perforation) from ulcers in the stomach or duodenum
  • Spread of the tumor to other organs

By : Natural Health News

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