How is dumping syndrome treated?

Dietary changes may help reduce the severity of your symptoms or prevent them from occurring. These changes include:

  • Increasing your intake of protein and fiber
  • Eating 5 to 6 small meals each day
  • Adding thickening agents to make food less watery

For some people, doctors prescribe medications, such as octreotide acetate (Sandostatin®). This medication is given as an injection. You might take it daily (short-acting form) or as a long-acting injection that you receive once a month. Octreotide acetate slows the rate at which your stomach empties. It also stops your pancreas from releasing insulin in response to food.

Another medication, acarbose (Precose®), may help prevent late dumping syndrome. It does this by slowing the rate at which your body absorbs carbohydrates.

If dumping syndrome is caused by your history of gastric surgery, or if your symptoms do not respond to other treatments, your doctor may recommend additional surgery. The type of surgery depends on what surgeries you have had before.

What complications are associated with dumping syndrome?

Most people living with dumping syndrome experience only mild symptoms. If you have more severe symptoms, it can be difficult to maintain your weight. Weight loss can occur when nutrients pass out of your GI tract faster than they can be absorbed. If dietary and medication changes are not enough to manage your dumping syndrome, your doctor may recommend surgery. However, surgery to correct dumping syndrome has a low success rate. Doctors recommend surgery only as a last resort.

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