Dumping syndrome, also called rapid gastric emptying, occurs when food moves too quickly from the stomach to the duodenum of the large intestine. Symptoms vary depending on whether they are early or late:
Symptoms of early dumping syndrome
Symptoms of late dumping syndrome
What are the two types of dumping syndrome?
- Early dumping syndrome: Affects 5%-10% of the total population. Early dumping syndrome occurs immediately after a meal and lasts for 30-40 minutes. Symptoms are relieved by lying down and aggravated by eating, especially eating high-carb foods.
- Late dumping syndrome: Affects 5% of the total population. Late dumping syndrome typically occurs 2 hours after a meal and lasts for 30-40 minutes. Symptoms are relieved by eating and aggravated by physical activity.
What causes dumping syndrome?
Dumping syndrome mostly occurs in people who have undergone stomach or esophagus surgery. Risk factors include:
How is dumping syndrome diagnosed?
Tests used to diagnose dumping syndrome include:
- Glucose tolerance test: After the patient has fasted for 8 hours, a blood sample is taken, a glucose solution given, then a blood sample taken again. Blood samples are taken every 30 minutes to check for blood sugar levels and to assess the function of insulin.
- Gastric emptying test: The patient is fed a meal containing a radioactive material. A special scanner is then used to monitor the movement of this radioactive material from the stomach to duodenum.
- Endoscopy: An endoscopy can help detect signs of dumping syndrome.
How is dumping syndrome treated?
Dietary changes can help manage symptoms of dumping syndrome:
- Eat frequent small meals instead of fewer large meals
- Increase protein intake
- Avoid drinking water during meals or immediate before and after meals
- Avoid foods high in carbs and sugar
- Add thickening agents to foods to slow the speed at which foods moves through the system
Some doctors may prescribe octreotide injections or acarbose, which can help control symptoms of dumping syndrome.
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