Dumping Syndrome

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Definition & Facts

Dumping syndrome is a group of symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, and feeling light-headed or tired after a meal, that are caused by rapid gastric emptying. Rapid gastric emptying is a condition in which food moves too quickly from your stomach to your duodenum.

man with no appetite in front of a meal

Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms of early dumping syndrome occur within 30 minutes after a meal, while symptoms of late dumping syndrome occur 1 to 3 hours after a meal. The most common cause of rapid gastric emptying and dumping syndrome is surgery of the stomach or esophagus.


Doctors typically diagnose dumping syndrome based on symptoms. Your doctor may also order tests, such as an oral glucose tolerance test or a gastric emptying scan, to confirm the diagnosis.


Doctors treat dumping syndrome by recommending changes to how and what you eat, medicines, and, in some cases, surgery. Many people with dumping syndrome have mild symptoms that improve over time with simple changes in eating and diet.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition

The first step in treating dumping syndrome is changing how and what you eat. Your doctor may recommend changes such as eating six small meals a day; lying down after you eat a meal; and eating more protein, fiber, and fat.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.

Related Research

View More Digestive Disease Information

Last Reviewed January 2019

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

The NIDDK would like to thank:
Anita P. Courcoulas, M.D., M.P.H., University of Pittsburgh