Case Study

Patient: Mr. Khan, a 52-year-old businessman from Lahore, Pakistan.

Presenting Complaint: Mr. Khan presented with a three-month history of severe heartburn, frequent vomiting, and persistent epigastric pain. He also reported unintentional weight loss and worsening fatigue.

Medical History: No significant medical history, except occasional indigestion treated with over-the-counter medications.

Examination: Upper endoscopy revealed multiple duodenal ulcers and erosive esophagitis.

Investigations: Blood tests showed elevated gastrin levels and slightly elevated blood sugar. Abdominal CT scan identified a small tumor in the pancreas.

Diagnosis: Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES)

Treatment: Mr. Khan underwent surgery to remove the pancreatic tumor. He was also prescribed proton pump inhibitors to control stomach acid and medication to manage his blood sugar levels.

Outcome: Following surgery and treatment, Mr. Khan’s symptoms significantly improved. His ulcers healed, heartburn subsided, and weight stabilized. His blood sugar levels returned to normal range.

Key Takeaways:

  • ZES can present with atypical symptoms like heartburn and weight loss.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent complications like ulcers and esophageal damage.
  • Surgery and medication can effectively manage ZES and improve quality of life.

Note: This is a fictionalized case study for illustrative purposes only. Actual ZES presentations and treatment plans may vary.

Case Study: Gastric Tango Gone Awry

Patient: Sarah, a 40-year-old musician, plagued by burning belly pain and relentless diarrhea.

Presenting Complaint: Months of escalating abdominal pain, frequent watery stools, and weight loss. Conventional treatments for ulcers offered no relief.

Medical History: No prior major illnesses, occasional heartburn managed with OTCs.

Examination: Endoscopy revealed severe duodenal ulcers beyond typical locations.

Investigations: Elevated gastrin levels, pancreatic tumor on MRI. Blood sugar borderline high.

Diagnosis: Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (ZES)

Treatment: Surgery to remove the pancreatic gastrinoma, followed by long-term proton pump inhibitors to control hyperacidity. Nutritional and diabetic management advised.

Outcome: Post-surgery, Sarah’s digestive turmoil subsided. Ulcers healed, diarrhea ceased, and weight stabilized. Regular medication kept acid and blood sugar in check, allowing her to return to the stage.

Key Takeaways:

  • ZES can have atypical, severe symptoms affecting both upper and lower gut.
  • Persistent, resistant digestive issues, especially combined with weight loss, warrant investigation for ZES.
  • Multidisciplinary approach, including surgery, medication, and dietary/diabetic management, is key to managing ZES and improving quality of life.

Note: This case study is a fictionalized illustration, with details adapted for brevity. Actual ZES presentations and treatments may vary.


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