Rapid Gastric Emptying
On this page:
- What is rapid gastric emptying?
- What are the symptoms of rapid gastric emptying?
- What causes rapid gastric emptying?
- How is rapid gastric emptying diagnosed?
- How is rapid gastric emptying treated?
What is rapid gastric emptying?
Rapid gastric emptying, also called dumping syndrome, occurs when undigested food empties too quickly into the small intestine.
What are the symptoms of rapid gastric emptying?
Early rapid gastric emptying begins either during or right after a meal. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, dizziness, and fatigue. Late rapid gastric emptying occurs 1 to 3 hours after eating. Symptoms include hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar; weakness; sweating; and dizziness. Experiencing both forms of gastric emptying is not uncommon.
What causes rapid gastric emptying?
Rapid gastric emptying is a result of stomach surgery such as fundoplication or gastric bypass. The condition is also seen in people with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a rare disorder involving extreme peptic ulcer disease and gastrin-secreting tumors in the pancreas.
How is rapid gastric emptying diagnosed?
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.
How is rapid gastric emptying treated?
Treatment includes changes in eating habits and medication. People who have rapid gastric emptying should eat several small meals a day that are low in carbohydrates and drink liquids between meals—not with them. People with severe rapid gastric emptying will likely need to take prescribed medicine to slow their digestion. In the most serious cases, doctors may recommend surgery.
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the Clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. The NDDIC answers inquiries, develops and distributes publications, and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.
This publication is not copyrighted. The Clearinghouse encourages users of this publication to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.
NIH Publication No. 08–4629