Dumping syndrome

Dumping syndrome, also known as ‘rapid gastric emptying’.

Dumping syndrome can occure following stomach surgery, and only following stomach surgery.

The lower end of the small intestine, the jejunum, fills with food that has passed through the stomach too quickly and is not yet completely digested.

‘Early’ dumping syndrome commonly begins during or straight after a meal, common symptoms are:

  • nausea
  • vommiting
  • bloating
  • cramping pain
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • -fatigue

‘Late’ dumping syndrome can occur 1-3 hours after eating. The symptoms are similar to the above but may also include:

  • weakness
  • sweating

It is possible for patients to suffer from both early and late dumping syndrome.

It is speculated that dumping syndrome may also be associated to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia because the rapid dumping of food can trigger the pancreas to release excessive amounts of insulin into the bloodstream. This may be referred to as “alimentary hypoglycemia”.


Dumping syndrome can usually be diagnosed on symptoms alone, although other tests may also be conducted to exclude other similar conditions.


Dumping syndrome is usually controlled by avoiding certain foods that are likely to cause the symptoms, such as foods high in sugars. Having a balanced diet is important.

Treatment usually means changes in diet and eating habits combined with medication.

It is advised that sufferers eat smaller more frequent meals during the day that are low in carbohydrates, and drink liquids between meals and not with the meal.

Doctors may in servere cases recommend surgery.

Written by Tracey (LWR Chairman)