Gastrinoma Step By Step Guide: 5 Hacks To Treat Gastrinoma.

Gastrinoma is an uncommon kind of tumor which is usually found in the first section of the small intestine (called duodenum) or the pancreas. The cells which produce gastrin in the duodenum cause gastrinoma. The condition is commonly referred to as the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Sometimes Zollinger-Ellison syndrome vs. gastrinoma becomes a debate even among medical circles. The distinction is simple: the condition itself is called the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, whereas the tumors are referred to as gastrinomas. From an American perspective, it is disconcerting that gastrinomas have increased over the past few decades.

Here is a quick overview of what this article will be about:

Gastrinoma Definition.

Formally defined, gastrinoma is a tumor which tends to occur in the wall of the duodenum or in the pancreas (pancreatic gastrinoma), which results in excessive production of gastrin that leads to the formation of ulcers.

Gastrinoma Symptoms

The following could constitute gastrinoma symptoms:

• Diarrhea

One of the prime symptoms of gastrinoma is severe diarrhea. If you have a diarrhea that just will not seem to go away, then you should immediately see your doctor and have yourself Tested

• Loss Of Appetite

Gastrinoma typically causes you to lose your appetite. If you continuously feel bloated and feel like you have lost the inclination to eat, then you must seek professional advice without further ado.

• Indigestion And Acid Reflux

Gastrinoma causes the stomach to produce too much acid. Therefore, indigestion and symptoms related to GERD such as nausea, heartburn and the like are common.

Weight Loss

Gastrinoma tends to cause considerable weight loss in a number of cases. If you seem to have lost weight for seemingly no reason, then it may be prudent to have yourself checked out.

• Bleeding In The Digestive Tract

Now this symptom is not the easiest one to figure out simply because it occurs internally. However, digest tract bleeding invariably causes a deterioration in your bowel movements and the quality of your stools. If you notice something amiss about them, seek medical help right away.

Gastrinoma Causes

The causes of gastrinoma are not known. While indications are that there might be a breakthrough in this regard in the coming years, all we know for now is that gastrinoma may be caused by multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 1 (MEN 1). This condition is an inherited condition and it is estimated that every fourth person that has gastrinomas have them as part of MEN 1. Also, if you have a blood relative with MEN 1, then your risk factor appreciates. They are also more common in men than women and research suggests that people aged between 30 and 50 are more vulnerable.

Gastrinoma Diagnosis

The first part of gastrinoma diagnosis constitutes a thorough review of your medical history. Once that is done, your serum gastrin levels are tested. Given that gastrin levels and gastrinoma go hand-in-hand, this test is extremely important. You may have to take this test more than once because gastrin levels are not constant.

In addition to the above, your doctor may wish to perform an endoscopic ultrasound to try and spot tumors. Nuclear Scans, CT Tests and MRIs may also be required depending on the nature of the case.

5 Ways To Treat Gastrinoma

• Proton Pump Inhibitors

As already mentioned, gastrinomas significantly increase the production of stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors are drugs which are prescribed to reduce this acid. These are the first line of treatment.

• Chemotherapy

A vast majority of gastrinomas are malignant. Therefore, chemotherapy may be needed in order to slow down the rate of tumor growth.

• Surgical Methods

Sometimes doctors have to resort to surgery in an attempt to remove the malignant tumors. If the gastrinoma is not caused by MEN 1, then there is a 1 in 5 chance of the surgery being successful.

• Liver Transplant

Liver transplant is generally used as a last-ditch attempt when everything else fails. Debulking wherein as much of the malignant tumor as possible is removed is a more viable option.

• Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure wherein heat from radio waves is used to destroy the malignant cells. The jury is still out on just how effective this method is, but it is sometimes used as a method of treatment for gastrinoma by doctors.


Gastrinomas mimic peptic ulcers and are therefore difficult to spot. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, particularly for a prolonged period, then it would be advisable to have yourself checked by a professional. In most cases, people assume it is peptic ulcers and while the majority of such people are ostensibly correct given that stomach ulcers are far more common than gastrinomas, the trouble is that stomach ulcers can be cured by even home remedies at times whereas gastrinomas do not really have a proper cure at this point in time. If you see a doctor and it turns out to be stomach ulcer, then that is alright; but if you delay too much and it turns out much to your misfortune that it is gastrinoma, then it might be too late to do anything about it. Malignant tumors such as gastrinomas have a considerably higher rate of cure if they can be spotted in their nascent stages and treated accordingly.

Perhaps the biggest problem with malignant gastrinomas is that most of them are malignant and are capable of spreading to the other parts of the body. The liver tends to be very vulnerable when it comes to gastrinomas. So long as your cancerous tumor has not spread to the liver, the chances of survival are considerably higher. The 15-year survival rate is much higher if the liver is spared.

With all that said, is there anything you can do to prevent gastrinoma? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. You can ensure that you eat the right kind of food, exercise well and sleep adequately; however, given that we do not even know what causes gastrinoma, it is virtually impossible to figure out how to keep it at bay with the information we have at our disposal at this point of time. Ensure you do the basics right and hopefully that will be enough.

About the Author joseph

What’s up world! Joe here. I am a writer, wordsmith and a health enthusiast at I spend most of my time reading about heath, putting everything I learn into action and of course, knitting words together. This is where I find joy. This is where my soul speaks, without any borders. I’ve seen results with everything I learned myself and practiced. My goal now is to help you, the reader, do the same and more, why not! Thanks and welcome aboard!

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