Hypochlorhydria occurs secondary to the direct gastric acid inhibitory effect of VIP
Hypochlorhydria, which refers to abnormally low levels of gastric acid in the stomach, can occur secondary to the direct gastric acid inhibitory effect of VIP (vasoactive intestinal peptide). VIP is a hormone secreted by certain neuroendocrine cells, including VIPomas, as mentioned earlier.
VIP is known to have multiple physiological effects on the gastrointestinal tract, including the inhibition of gastric acid secretion. When VIP is excessively secreted by a VIPoma, it can lead to decreased production of hydrochloric acid by the parietal cells in the stomach. This decrease in gastric acid secretion can result in hypochlorhydria or even achlorhydria (complete absence of gastric acid).
Hypochlorhydria can have several consequences, including impaired digestion of proteins and reduced absorption of certain nutrients, such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. Additionally, it can lead to an increased risk of gastrointestinal infections, as gastric acid plays a crucial role in killing ingested pathogens.
It’s important to note that while hypochlorhydria can occur in VIPoma syndrome due to the direct inhibitory effect of VIP on gastric acid secretion, it may also result from other causes, such as certain medications, chronic gastritis, or autoimmune conditions affecting the gastric mucosa.
As with any medical condition, the diagnosis and management of VIPoma syndrome and its associated effects, such as hypochlorhydria, should be carried out by healthcare professionals based on a thorough evaluation and appropriate diagnostic tests. Treatment may involve addressing the underlying cause, managing symptoms, and providing necessary medical interventions, such as surgery or medications, depending on the individual case.