to pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pancreatic
NETs or PNETs), also called endocrine tumors or islet cell tumors, are
tumors that form from the hormone-producing cells in the pancreas. The
pancreas produces hormones that regulate blood sugar level, stomach acid
production, the rate of food absorption and amount of water in the intestines.
PNETs are divided into functional (produce hormones) and nonfunctional
(do not produce hormones) tumors.
Functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors may cause the pancreas to
overproduce certain hormones, resulting in a number of symptoms. The following
table describes symptoms specific to functional pancreatic neuroendocrine
|Functional Endocrine Tumor of the Pancreas
||Similar to peptic ulcer disease, an elevated level of gastrin can cause burning abdominal pain, acid reflux, diarrhea and weight loss.
||High blood sugar can cause severe swelling or irritation of the skin, sore mouth, anemia, and weight loss.
||Low blood sugar can cause heart palpitations, shakiness, perspiration, confusion and seizures.
|Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type-1
|various hormones including: gastrin, insulin, glucagon and parathyroid
||Ulcers and blood sugar problems are common. Hyperparathyroidism, or having too much thyroid hormone, can cause high blood calcium (hypercalcemia) which can lead to generalized weakness, bone abnormalities, constipation and changes in mental state.
||This hormone suppresses production of a variety of other hormones which can cause diabetes, gallstones, weight loss, diarrhea, excess fat in the stools, steatorrhea, nausea and vomiting.
|Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide-Releasing Tumor
(VIPoma or Verner-Morrison Syndrome)
|vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)
||Severe watery diarrhea can lead to low blood potassium levels causing muscle weakness, fatigue and nausea.
Nonfunctional islet cell tumors do not overproduce pancreatic hormones. They are generally detected because of pain or jaundice caused by the large tumor size.
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