Dumping syndrome

Symptoms that include sweating, fainting, and palpitations due to the rapid passage of food from the stomach into the intestine. It is uncommon but mainly affects people who have had a gastrectomy. Symptoms may occur within about 30 minutes of eating (early dumping) or after 90–120 minutes (late dumping). Some tense people may have symptoms although their stomach is intact. Gastric surgery interferes with the normal mechanism for emptying food from the stomach (see digestion). If a meal rich in carbohydrates is “dumped” too quickly from the stomach, the upper intestine may swell. This, together with the 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 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 avoid symptoms by eating frequent, small dry meals that do not contain refined carbohydrates. Symptoms may also be prevented by lying down after a large meal. Adding guar gum to food is sometimes effective.


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