dumping syndrome

The dumping syndrome - Symptoms that include sweating, fainting, and palpitations due to the rapid passage of food from the stomach into the intestine. Dumping syndrome (also known as rapid gastric emptying) is uncommon but mainly affects people who have had a gastrectomy (surgical removal of the stomach).

Symptoms may occur within about 30 minutes of eating (early dumping) or after 90–120 minutes (late dumping). Some very anxious people may experience the symptoms of dumping even though their stomach is intact.

Gastric surgery interferes with the normal mechanism for emptying food from the stomach (see digestion). If a meal containing a high level of carbohydrates is “dumped” too quickly from the stomach, the upper intestine may swell. This, together with excessive amounts of certain hormones released into the bloodstream, causes the symptoms of early dumping. As sugars are absorbed from the intestine, they rapidly increase the blood glucose level, causing excess insulin hormone release. This may, in turn, later lower the blood glucose level below normal, causing the symptoms of late dumping.

A person who has had a gastrectomy can prevent symptoms by eating frequent, small, dry meals that contain no refined carbohydrates. Symptoms may also be prevented by lying down for a rest after a large meal. Adding guar gum to food is also sometimes effective.


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