Dumping Syndrome

1 What is Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping syndrome also known as rapid gastric emptying  is a condition in which food  moves from the stomach into the bowels too quickly.

It  may develop after surgery to remove all or part of the stomach or after surgery to bypass the stomach to help a patient to lose weight.

Most people with this condition may experience symptoms within 30 minutes after eating. However, other people may experience symptmos three hours after eating and others may have both early and late symptoms.

Symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Dumping syndrome may be prevented by making changes in diet after surgery. Changes include eating smaller meals and limiting sugar intake.

Medications and surgery may be required for severe cases of dumping syndrome.

2 Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of dumping syndrome mostly occur after a meal especially a meal high in table sugar (sucrose) or fruit sugar (fructose).

Signs and symptoms include:

Late dumping signs and symptoms, which occur one to three hours after eating are due to the body releasing large amounts of insulin to absorb the large amount of sugars enetering the small intestines after a high-sugar meal. This leads to low blood sugar levels.

Signs and symptoms of late dumping can include:

Some people have both early and late signs and symptoms. Some people develop dumping syndrome years after surgery.

3 Causes

The main cause of dumping syndrome is when food and juices from the stomach move to the intestines in an uncontrolled, abnormally fast manner.

This mostly can occurs after any stomach operation or removal of the esophagus (esophagectomy).

Gatric bypass for weight loss is the most common cause nowadays.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Methods used to diagnose dumping syndrome include:

  • Medical history and evaluation
  • Blood sugar test
  • Gastric emptying test to determine how quickly food moves through the stomach

5 Treatment

Treatment for dumping syndrome varies depending on its type.

The early dumping syndrome symptoms usually resolve on their own within three mouths. If symptoms don't disappear medications and surgery may be recommeded.

Octreotide (Sandostatin) can be prescribed for severe signs and symptoms. This is an anti-diarrheal drug which is taken as an injection under the skin, can slow the emptying of food into the intestine. Side effects include nausea, vomiting and stomach upset.

Surgical procedures to treat difficult cases of dumping syndrome that are more resistant to more conservative approaches. Most of these procedures are reconstractive techniques, such as recontracting the pylorus or reverse gastric gastric bypass surgery.

6 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

A few alternative remedies are used for dumping syndrome.

Supplements such as pectin, guar gum, black psyllium and blond psyllium which thicken the digestive contents and slow its progress through the intestines can be used.

7 Lifestyle and Coping

There are different ways to adapt your lifestyle in coping with dumping syndrome.

The following can help to minimize signs and symptoms of dumping syndrome:

  • Eating five to six meals a day rather than three larger ones.
  • Drinking fluids only between meals and avoiding liquids for a half-hour before eating and a half-hour after eating.
  • Eating more protein-meat, creamy peanut butter amd fish and a complex carbohydrates-oatmeal and other whole-grain foods higher in fiber. It is important to limit sugar foods.
  • Chewing food properly before swallowing.
  • Sitting upright for 30 to 60 minutes after eating.
  • Consuming adequate vitamins, iron and calcioum.
  • Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.

8 Risks and Complications

Surgeries on the stomach may increase the risk of dumping syndrome.

These surgeries include:

  • Gastroectomy: A surgery to remove a portion or all of the stomach.
  • Gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y operation):Which is performed to treat morbid obesity.
  • Esophagectomy: Where all or part of the tube between the mouth and the stomach is removed.