Hypergastrinemia involves increased levels of gastrin, a hormone that aids digestion. This affects acid levels in your stomach. Hypergastrinemia may be caused by long-term use of antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H. pylori infection, certain surgeries and other conditions. Treating these conditions also treats the hypergastrinemia.
Hypergastrinemia occurs when levels of a hormone that helps with digestion (gastrin) are higher than normal. Cells inside the lower part of your stomach lining near your small intestine (G cells) produce gastrin.
Gastrin stimulates your stomach to release acid (gastric acid). Gastric acid helps your body digest food and absorb nutrients, such as amino acids and proteins.
Hypergastrinemia can cause either high levels of stomach acid (hyperchlorhydria) or low levels of stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). How hypergastrinemia may affect you depends on what other conditions you have, what surgeries you’ve had and which medications you take.
Anyone at any age and of any gender can have hypergastrinemia.
Sometimes hypergastrinemia results in less production of stomach acid. The most common causes of this type of hypergastrinemia include:
Sometimes hypergastrinemia results in more production of stomach acid. The most common causes of this type of hypergastrinemia include:
The main symptoms of hypergastrinemia include:
To diagnose hypergastrinemia, healthcare providers need to find out how much gastric acid you’re producing. They will use tests to measure your gastrin levels:
If your provider suspects hypergastrinemia, they may do tests to rule out other conditions. These tests may include:
Treatment for hypergastrinemia depends on the cause:
Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatments for your specific situation.
If you use antacids or PPI long-term, talk to your healthcare provider about how to manage any increased risk of hypergastrinemia.
Untreated hypergastrinemia creates increased amounts of gastrin. Researchers suspect this may lead to the growth of cancers such as:
Long-term hypergastrinemia may also lead to tumors in your stomach (gastric carcinoids or gastric adenocarcinoma). The two types of gastric carcinoids it may lead to are:
Type I gastric carcinoids, which link to chronic atrophic gastritis and are usually:
Type 2 gastric carcinoids, which link to ZES and MEN-1 and are:
The outlook for people with hypergastrinemia depends on the cause of the condition as well as a person’s:
With proper treatment, people with hypergastrinemia can live active lives.
If you take antacids or use PPI long-term, get regular checkups from your healthcare provider.
If you experience any new or worsening symptoms, see your healthcare provider for a full evaluation.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hypergastrinemia occurs when levels of gastrin become higher than usual. Gastrin is a hormone that affects the levels of gastric acid in your stomach. These acid levels can be either higher or lower than normal. Hypergastrinemia has many causes, including long-term use of PPIs and antacids, H. pylori infection, gastritis and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Your provider will measure your gastrin levels to diagnose hypergastrinemia. Treatment involves managing the underlying cause. Untreated hypergastrinemia may lead to tumors and cancer.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/08/2022.
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