1 What is Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, Type 1 (MEN 1)?

A rare disorder that causes tumors in the endocrine glands and parts of the small intestine and stomach is called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) or Wermer’s syndrome. The endocrine glands (parathyroids, pancreas and pituitary) grow tumors and then release excessive amounts of hormones which can lead to disease but they are usually benign (noncancerous).

Some signs and symptoms of this disease are bone pain, tiredness, kidney stones, stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers and fractures. There is no cure for multiple endocrine neoplasia but there are treatments that doctors can give after detecting the problems. Multiple endocrine neoplasia is an inherited disorder so children will have 50 percent chance that they will inherit it from their parents.

2 Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN1) vary from person to another and depend on which glands are affected.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Headaches and changes in vision; Cushing’s syndrome,
  • Acromegaly (enlargement of the bones),
  • Excess production of breast milk for women,
  • Hyperparathyroidism, which means the parathyroid gland produces too much hormone that may cause tiredness, weakness, muscle or bone pain, constipation, kidney stones or thinning of bones. Hyperparathyroidism is usually the first sign of MEN1 and typically occurs between the ages 20 and 25. Nearly 100% of people with MEN1 will develop hyperparathyroidism by the age of 50,
  • High levels of gastrin, ulcers, inflammation of the esophagus, diarrhea and abdominal pain,
  • Problems with sexual function and fertility.

Consult your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms.

3 Causes

Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN1) is caused by a gene mutation that are handed down to families. 

MEN1 is an inherited condition, which means it can be passed from an affected parent to a child. The endocrine glands grow tumors which releases excessive amounts of hormones which can lead to disease.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Making a diagnosis of Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, Type 1 (MEN 1) is done by performing several tests.

When you visit your doctor, make sure to bring a notebook and list down key information such as:

  • the signs and symptoms you are experiencing,
  • your medications,
  • supplements and vitamins that you are taking.

Some of the questions that you can ask your doctor include:

  • What are causing my symptoms?
  • Is this cancerous?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What treatments are available?
  • Do they have side effects?

Your doctor will likely ask you some questions such as:

  • What are the symptoms that you are experiencing?
  • Are they constant or occasional?
  • Do you feel tired all day?

Your doctor will do a physical check-up and some tests such as blood tests, urine tests and imaging tests (MRI and computed axial tomography). He will do these tests to find out if you have MEN1.

5 Treatment

Your doctor will discuss the best option to treat you if you are diagnosed with multiple endocrine neoplasia, Type 1 (MEN 1) depending on your condition and situation.

  • Surgery: hyperparathyroidism that is caused by MEN1 is treated with surgical removal of three and a half of the four parathyroid glands but for some patients four of the glands are removed.
  • Prescribed medicines: to help balance hormone levels or treat tumors.
  • Radiation is done to target the tumor more precisely.

6 Prevention

Since multiple endocrine neoplasia, Type 1 (MEN 1) is an inherited disease, there is no prevention to this disease.

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

There is no homeopathic or alternative remedies for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) or Wermer’s syndrome.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

Everyone has their way in coping with multiple endocrine neoplasia, Type 1 (MEN 1).

Talking to family and friends about your feelings might help.

Seek counseling to help you in this difficult situation or look for a support group in your area.

9 Risks and Complications

Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN1) is caused by a gene mutation that are handed down to families. Only 10 percent of people with MEN1 have a new alteration of the MEN1 gene with no family history of MEN1 condition.

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