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Zollinger Ellison Syndrome

Get the facts on Zollinger Ellison Syndrome treatment, diagnosis, staging, causes, types, symptoms. Information and current news about clinical trials and trial-related data, Zollinger Ellison Syndrome prevention, screening, research, statistics and other Zollinger Ellison Syndrome related topics. We answer all your qestions about Zollinger Ellison Syndrome.

Question: What is Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome? How does it affect the absorbtion of nutrients? The body is very complex. How does weight loss occur in Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome? Is there something wrong in how the body digests food? What causes all the abdominal pain? This cannot all be from the stomach acid?

Answer: Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a disorder where increased levels of the hormone gastrin are produced, causing the stomach to produce excess hydrochloric acid. Often, the cause is a tumour of the pancreas producing the hormone gastrin. Gastrin then causes an excessive production of acid which can lead to peptic ulcers (in almost 95% of patients) Gastrin works on stomach parietal cells causing them to secrete more hydrogen ions into the stomach lumen. In addition, gastrin acts as a trophic factor for parietal cells, causing parietal cell hyperplasia. Thus, there is an increase in the number of acid secreting cells and each of these cells produces acid at a higher rate. The increase in acidity contributes to the development of peptic ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. High acid levels lead to multiple ulcers in the stomach and small bowel. Patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. The diagnosis is also suspected in patients without symptoms who have severe ulceration of the stomach and small bowel. Gastrinomas may occur as single tumors or as multiple, small tumors. About one-half to two-thirds of single gastrinomas are malignant tumors that most commonly spread to the liver and lymph nodes near the pancreas and small bowel. Nearly 25 percent of patients with gastrinomas have multiple tumors as part of a condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN I). MEN I patients have tumors in their pituitary gland and parathyroid glands in addition to tumors of the pancreas.

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