Treatment of Dumping Syndrome

How do doctors treat dumping syndrome?

Doctors treat dumping syndrome by recommending changes to how and what you eat, medicines, and, in some cases, surgery.

Changing your eating habits

The first step in treating dumping syndrome is changing how and what you eat. Many people with dumping syndrome have mild symptoms that improve over time with simple changes in eating and diet.

Medicines

If changing your eating habits doesn’t improve your symptoms, you doctor may prescribe medicines.

Octreotide (Sandostatin) may help reduce the symptoms of dumping syndrome. This medicine comes in short- and long-acting forms

  • The short-acting form is injected under your skin 2 to 4 times a day before meals. A health care professional may inject the medicine or may train you, a friend, or a relative to inject the medicine.
  • The long-acting form is injected into your buttocks muscles once every 4 weeks. Side effects may include pain where the medicine is injected, diarrhea, weight gain, gallstones, and steatorrhea.

Doctors may prescribe acarbose (Prandase, Precose) to help reduce the symptoms of late dumping syndrome. Side effects of acarbose may include bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence.

Doctor talking with a patient and writing a prescription.If changing your eating habits doesn’t improve your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medicines.

Surgery

If stomach or esophagus surgery caused your dumping syndrome and other treatments don’t improve your symptoms enough, your doctor may recommend another surgery to try to correct dumping syndrome. The type of surgery your doctor recommends depends on the type of surgery that led to your dumping syndrome. Surgery to correct dumping syndrome doesn’t always work.

Can I prevent dumping syndrome?

Experts have not found a way for people to prevent dumping syndrome. If you have dumping syndrome, you may be able to prevent future symptoms with treatments such as changing your eating habits.

January 2019
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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. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.