Dumping syndrome

Dumping syndrome is basically a collection of symptoms that tend to develop if an individual undergoes surgery involving removal of part of the stomach. It develops if undigested stomach contents start to move rapidly into the small bowel.

Some of the symptoms include abdominal cramping, nausea and persistent diarrhea. In most cases, the symptoms arise immediately after eating while others develop a few hours after a meal. The condition is usually managed with dietary modifications, medications or even surgery in some cases.

What are the possible causes?

Dumping syndrome develops if the undigested stomach content moves uncontrollably to the small bowel. This often results from changes that occur after a surgical procedure in the stomach.

Dumping syndrome

In most cases of dumping syndrome, it tends to improve after dietary changes as the digestive tract adjusts to the procedure.

The condition might develop after any surgical procedure to the stomach or removal of the esophagus, particularly gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. It can develop a few weeks after a procedure once the individual starts a normal diet.

Indications of dumping syndrome

Some of the indications of dumping syndrome include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Sensation of fullness
  • Flushing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Syncopal episodes

Management

In most cases of dumping syndrome, it tends to improve after dietary changes as the digestive tract adjusts to the procedure. There is a high possibility that the symptoms might resolve with dietary changes. If the symptoms do not settle, medications are required.

Medications

The doctor might prescribe medications to slow down the passage of food from the stomach to the small bowel but only works in severe cases.

Surgery

A surgical procedure might be required in cases where dumping syndrome could not be effectively managed by medications alone.

Feeding tube

In case the previously stated measures fail to control the symptoms, the doctor will suggest the insertion of a feeding tube as the last option. This tube allows food to be delivered directly into the small intestines in a steady manner.

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