How is dumping syndrome diagnosed?

Your doctor may diagnose dumping syndrome based on your specific symptoms and history of gastric surgery.

Your doctor may recommend more diagnostic tests to confirm your diagnosis and rule out other medical problems. These tests may include:

  • Glucose tolerance test: Your doctor takes a blood sample after you have avoided eating for at least 8 hours. After the initial blood sample, you drink a solution containing glucose (sugar). More blood samples are taken immediately after you drink the solution, and again every 30 minutes for up to 3 hours. This test measures how your body uses insulin to control blood glucose levels.
  • Gastric emptying test: This test measures how your stomach empties its contents 1 to 4 hours after eating. Before the test, you eat a meal containing a trace amount of radioactive material. Using a special scanner, your doctor can watch food’s movement through your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. You will have this test at a hospital or radiology center.
  • Upper GI endoscopy: Your doctor uses an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light source) to look into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. This test helps your doctor identify other medical problems that could cause your symptoms. These other problems could include ulcers or inflammation of your stomach lining.
  • Upper GI series: During this procedure, you sit or stand in front of an X-ray machine. Your doctor provides you with a barium solution to drink. As you drink, your doctor observes how your body processes this liquid on the X-ray. Barium solution helps make certain complications, like intestinal blockages, more visible on X-rays.

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