Gastrinoma is a type of neuroendocrine tumour (NET) that usually starts in the duodenum (small bowel) or pancreas. Its symptoms can be vague. See your GP if you are worried.
Gastrinomas make large amounts of the hormone gastrin. Gastrin controls the amount of acid in your stomach, which helps to digest food. You usually have symptoms caused by the increase in the amount of stomach acid.
Pain in the tummy (abdomen)
This is usually caused by a stomach or duodenal ulcer. Between 70 and 100 out of every 100 people with gastrinoma (70 to 100%) have tummy pain.
Diarrhoea means having more than 3 watery poos (stools) in a 24 hour period. You might also have diarrhoea at night and problems controlling your bowels (incontinence).
Between 30 and 70 out of every 100 people with gastrinoma (30 to 70%) have diarrhoea.
Heartburn is burning chest pain or discomfort after eating. It happens when acid from the stomach goes back up into the food pipe (oesophagus) or if the stomach is inflamed or irritated.
Between 40 and 60 out of every 100 people with gastrinoma (40 to 60%) have symptoms of indigestion.
Gastrinomas can cause bleeding. You may not be able to see any blood if it’s a small amount. Or you may see blood in your vomit or poo. Over time, bleeding reduces the number of red blood cells in your blood (anaemia).
Speak to your doctor if you see blood in your poo, or if your stools are back or sticky.
Between 40 and 70 out of every 100 people with gastrinoma (40 to 70%) have bleeding.
Feeling or being sick
You may feel or be sick. Between 10 and 30 out of every 100 people with gastrinoma (10 to 30%) have sickness.
You might lose a lot of weight (even if you’re not dieting). Between 7 and 50 out of every 100 people with gastrinoma (7 to 50%) lose weight.
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES)
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES) is the name given to the collection of symptoms caused by high levels of the hormone gastrin. ZES often causes:
- stomach or small bowel ulcers (peptic ulcer disease)
- acid reflux (gastro oesophageal reflux or GOR for short)