What is Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping syndrome

or rapid gastric emptying is a disorder where undigested food gets dumped into the small intestine too quickly that it is supposed to be. This syndrome can develop if a person has undergone a surgery to the stomach where all or at least part of the stomach were removed during the surgery.

Causes of Dumping Syndrome:

As already mentioned, a surgery to the stomach is a major cause for this syndrome. People who undergo a gastric bypass surgery to cut down their weight are the ones who are the most vulnerable to this problem.

  • This problem develops after the person who’s undergone the surgery resumes a normal diet and the more stomach removed during the surgery, the more severe would be the symptoms and the condition. Gastrointestinal hormones play a major role in the development of this condition.
  • The reason for the undigested food to be moved into the small intestine quickly can be attributed to the changes that occur during the surgery which accelerate the gastric juices into the small intestine.

Risk Factors:

The following surgeries are known to increase the risk of rapid gastric emptying-

  • Gastrectomy
  • Gastroenterestomy
  • Vagotomy
  • Fundoplication
  • Gastric bypass surgery

Apart from the surgical procedures that increase the risk of rapid gastric emptying, a few existing conditions of the patient would also worsen the problem. They are-

  • Diabetes
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome


The symptoms would appear usually in a matter of 1-3 hours after eating and can be either mild or severe. The symptoms would be-

  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • sweating
  • nervousness
  • increased heart rate
  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • low blood sugar
  • diarrhea

If the symptoms appear in a matter of 15-30 minutes after intake of food, they would be-

  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • fatigue
  • bloating or belching
  • increase in heart rate


Following an initial diagnosis that include blood sugar test, medical history evaluation and a gastric emptying test, a doctor would prescribe medications like Acarbose and Octreotide that would decelerate the flow of gastric juices and food into the small intestine, there by alleviating the symptoms as well.

Apart from medications, making changes to food consuming techniques and routine would benefit patients suffering from

dumping syndrome


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