What is it?

Dumping syndrome is a medical condition in which the stomach empties its contents into the first part of the small intestine (the duodenum) faster than normal. Dumping syndrome is also known as rapid gastric emptying.
People with dumping syndrome experience symptoms like nausea and abdominal cramping. These symptoms happen because the small intestine cannot absorb nutrients from food that has not been digested properly in the stomach. People who are more likely to have dumping syndrome if they have had certain types of gastric surgery, like gastric bypass surgery.

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Signs & symptoms

The symptoms of dumping syndrome depend on the type of dumping syndrome you have. Early symptoms of dumping syndrome include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. These symptoms usually start 10 to 30 minutes after you eat.
Other early symptoms include:
- bloating or feeling uncomfortably full
- flushing of the face
- sweating
- dizziness
- fast heart rate

Late symptoms appear one to three hours after you eat. They’re caused by low blood sugar and can include:
- dizziness
- weakness
- sweating
- hunger
- fast heart rate
- fatigue
- confusion
- shaking
You might have both early and late symptoms.


Doctors can diagnose dumping syndrome based on specific symptoms and history of gastric surgery.
Your doctor may recommend more diagnostic tests to confirm your diagnosis and rule out other medical problems. These tests may include:
- Glucose tolerance test: blood sample after you have avoided eating for at least 8 hours. After the initial blood sample, you drink a solution containing glucose (sugar). More blood samples are taken immediately after you drink the solution, and again every 30 minutes for up to 3 hours. This test measures how your body uses insulin to control blood glucose levels.
- Gastric emptying test: This test measures how your stomach empties its contents 1 to 4 hours after eating. Before the test, you eat a meal containing a trace amount of radioactive material. Using a special scanner, your doctor can watch food’s movement through your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. You will have this test at a hospital or radiology center.
- Upper GI endoscopy: Your doctor uses an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light source) to look into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This test helps your doctor identify other medical problems that could cause your symptoms. These other problems could include ulcers or inflammation of your stomach lining.
- Upper GI series: During this procedure, you sit or stand in front of an X-ray machine. Your doctor provides you with a barium solution to drink. As you drink, your doctor observes how your body processes this liquid on the X-ray. Barium solution helps make certain complications, like intestinal blockages, more visible on X-rays.


Dietary changes may help reduce the severity of the symptoms or prevent them from occurring. These changes include:
- Increasing intake of protein and fiber
- Eating 5 to 6 small meals each day
- Adding thickening agents to make food less watery
For some people, doctors prescribe medications, such as octreotide acetate. This medication is given as an injection. You can receive it daily or once a month. Octreotide acetate slows the rate at which the stomach empties. It also stops the pancreas from releasing insulin in response to food.
Another medication, acarbose, can help to prevent late dumping syndrome. It does this by slowing the rate at which the body absorbs carbohydrates.
If dumping syndrome is caused by a history of gastric surgery, or if the symptoms do not respond to other treatments, doctors may recommend additional surgery. The type of surgery depends on what surgeries you have had before.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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