Rapid gastric emptying, also referred to as dumping syndrome, is a condition characterized by undigested food getting empty too quickly into the small intestine. It is usually a result of stomach surgery (such as fundoplication or gastric bypass). The condition is also associated with those with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Here are two types of rapid gastric emptying – early rapid gastric emptying and late rapid gastric emptying. Early rapid gastric emptying begins either during or right after a meal. The signs that are commonly associated with the condition are nausea, vomiting, bloating, cramping, diarrhoea, dizziness and fatigue.
Late rapid gastric emptying occurs 1 to 3 hours after the meal. The symptoms that are commonly linked to it are hypoglycaemia (also called low blood sugar), weakness sweating and dizziness. Experiencing both forms of gastric emptying is not uncommon.
Doctors diagnose rapid gastric emptying primarily on the basis of symptoms in people who have had gastric surgery. Tests may be needed to exclude other conditions that have similar symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
The treatment for rapid gastric emptying involves making changes in eating habits and medication. Those with the condition are advised to eat several small meals a day that are low in carbohydrates and drink liquids between meals and not with the meals. People with severe rapid gastric emptying are prescribed medicine to slow their digestion and sometimes recommend surgery.
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