VIPoma is a type of neuroendocrine tumour (NET) that usually starts in the pancreas. Its symptoms can be vague. See your GP if you are worried.
VIPomas usually make large amounts of a hormone called vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). VIP relaxes the muscles in the stomach and bowel. It also helps to control the balance of sugar, salt and water in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
You usually have symptoms caused by the increase in the amount of VIP in your body. Symptoms include loose or water poo (diarrhoea) which can be severe.
Symptoms usually develop slowly. In most people, the tumour has already started to spread to other parts of the body by the time it is diagnosed. Symptoms might include:
You might have large amounts of watery poo (stools). Some people need to go to the toilet more than 20 times a day. You can have diarrhoea even when you haven’t eaten beforehand (fasting).
Between 9 and 10 out of every 10 people (90 and 100%) have diarrhoea.
Dehydration can cause:
- dry skin
- a dry mouth
- headaches and dizziness
More than 8 out of every 10 people (more than 80%) have dehydration.
A low level of potassium in your blood
This can cause numbness and heart problems such as an irregular heartbeat. Between 8 and 10 out of every 10 people (between 80 and 100%) have low levels of potassium.
You might lose weight even if you haven't changed your diet.
Flushing of the skin
The skin of your face, neck and chest may look red (flushed).
This happens in around 2 out of every 10 people (20%).
Tummy (abdominal) pain
Tummy pain is usually mild.
Verner Morrison syndrome
Verner Morrison syndrome is the name given to the collection of symptoms caused by having high levels of the hormone VIP. It’s also called:
- VIPoma syndrome
- pancreatic cholera
- watery diarrhoea, hypokalaemia and hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria syndrome (WDHA)