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Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare disorder that causes tumors in the pancreas and duodenum and ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach. It produces enzymes that break down fat, protein, and carbohydrates from food and hormones like insulin that break down sugar. The duodenum is the top part of the small intestine.

The tumors are cancerous in 50 percent of cases. They secrete a substance called gastrin that causes the stomach to produce too much acid, which in turn causes the stomach and duodenal ulcers (peptic ulcers). The ulcers caused by Zollinger-Ellison syndrome are more painful and less responsive to treatment than ordinary peptic ulcers. What causes people with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome to develop tumors is unknown, but the cause may be an abnormal tumor suppressor gene.

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome usually occurs in people between ages 30 and 60. Symptoms include signs of peptic ulcers: gnawing, burning pain in the abdomen; nausea; vomiting; fatigue; weakness; and weight loss. Diarrhea is also a symptom. Physicians diagnose Zollinger-Ellison syndrome through blood tests to measure levels of gastrin. They may check for ulcers by taking x-rays of the stomach and duodenum or by doing an endoscopy, which involves looking at the lining of these organs through a lighted tube.

Medications used to reduce stomach acid include cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine, and omeprazole. Surgery to treat peptic ulcers or to remove tumors in the pancreas or duodenum are other treatment options. In serious cases, surgery to remove the entire stomach may be necessary.

More information is available from
National Organization for Rare Disorders Inc.
P.O. Box 8923
New Fairfield, CT 06812-8923
Tel: (800) 999-6673 or (203) 746-6518


Additional Information on Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on digestive diseases for the Combined Health Information Database (CHID). CHID is a database produced by health-related agencies of the Federal Government. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources.

To provide you with the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic search of CHID. To obtain this information you may view the results of the automatic search on Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.

Or, if you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access the CHID Online web site and search CHID yourself.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570
E-mail: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov


The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. NDDIC answers inquiries; develops, reviews, and distributes publications; and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Publications produced by the clearinghouse are reviewed carefully for scientific accuracy, content, and readability.

This e-text is not copyrighted. The clearinghouse encourages users of this e-pub to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.

e-text posted: 17 March 1998
COPYRIGHT 1998 National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Pamphlet by: National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
Article Type:Topic Overview
Date:Mar 17, 1998
Words:538
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