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Updated on November 21, 2020

Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome occurs when your stomach empties its contents, particularly energy-dense food, into the small intestine faster than normal.  This is also known as Rapid Gastric Emptying.

Causes

Click to view Nowcast video on Dumping Syndrome

Symptoms

The symptoms can be divided into early and late symptoms.  Generally, early symptoms begin within 30 minutes of eating while late symptoms usually occur around 2-4 hours after the meal.  Theses symptoms occur because the small intestine is NOT able to absorb the food because it has not been digested properly in the stomach.

Early symptoms

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach cramping or diarrhoea
  • Bloated feeling
  • Feeling dizzy or weak due to drop in blood pressure
  • Cold sweats

Late Symptoms

  • Dizzy or weakness from hypoglycaemia
  • Cold sweats
  • Rapid heart rate

Management

Modifying the frequency and contents of your meals will help reduce the symptoms.  Some suggestions include;

  • Increase the protein and fibre content of each meal
  • Have more frequent meals as much as 5-6 times a day
  • Keep the portions small for each meal
  • Cut your foods into small pieces and chew well before swallowing
  • Adding thickening agents (such as pectin or guar gum) to make your food less watery
  • Do NOT take too much liquids or drink with your meals
  • Drink water throughout the day but not during your meals
  • Avoid having too much sugar to your food (such as cakes, biscuits or pastry)
  • Avoid sugary carbonated drinks or alcohol
  • Do lie down if you feel faint after your meals

Discuss your dietary requirements with your doctor or dietician to help you with your symptoms


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