The normal values listed here-called a reference range-are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Normal values may be higher in very young children and older adults.
Many conditions can change gastrin levels. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results that may be related to your symptoms and past health.
High gastrin levels may be caused by:
Low gastrin levels may be caused by hypothyroidism.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- Eating before the test.
- Drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol right before the test.
- Taking some medicines. Examples of medicines that can affect results include medicines that reduce stomach acid (such as Pepcid, Prilosec, or Zantac) and medicines or supplements that contain calcium (such as Tums or a daily vitamin). Make sure your doctor knows about all the medicines, herbs, and supplements you take.
- Having had stomach ulcer surgery or a small bowel resection. Increased gastrin levels also occur in medical conditions such as kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis, and cirrhosis.
What To Think About
- The level of gastrin in the blood varies throughout the day, but it is usually lowest in the morning.
- Gastrin test results are most useful when they are evaluated along with medical information gathered from other examinations or tests.
- If you have normal or mildly elevated gastrin levels but continue to have problems with peptic ulcers, further blood testing may be done. An intravenous secretin test helps determine whether peptic ulcers are being caused by Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Gastrin levels generally increase by more than 200 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL) in people who have Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, but they rise only slightly or decrease in people who do not have the syndrome.