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What Is Dumping Syndrome (And Why It Helps You Succeed)

Sugary sweets like seen here can trigger dumping syndrome, but is that a good thing. VIPSurg shares their take.

Gastric bypass surgery reconstructs the anatomy of your stomach and reroutes the intestine. The fact that your stomach is smaller, and your digestive tract changes means that your body must adapt to new systems and processes. Sometimes, the surgery can cause dumping syndrome – when food and drink pass into the sensitive small intestine too fast (also called rapid gastric emptying).

Symptoms Of Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome can appear early or late after a meal. Early dumping syndrome happens 10-30 minutes after you eat when partially digested food and stomach acid are pushed into the small intestine. This can cause feelings of fullness and bloat and can block gut hormones from be released appropriately. Symptoms of early dumping syndrome include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Weakness
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Cramps

Late dumping syndrome happens 1-3 hours after you eat and is when sugar quickly moves from the stomach to the small intestine causing blood sugar to rise. Your pancreas tries to combat this by releasing insulin that, in turn, makes your blood sugar drop. Symptoms of late dumping syndrome include:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Cold sweats

How To Treat Dumping Syndrome?

To ease your mind, dumping syndrome is not a life-threatening condition and can be managed through dietary changes or medication. If you swap three large meals into numerous smaller meals, it can allow for your body to catch up and properly digest. You should not drink liquids while eating – in fact, you should avoid drinking 30 minutes before and after each meal. By eating only solid foods, your stomach does not mistake liquid for digested food. Try to limit your sugar intake as well, that is, avoid sodas, pastries, cakes, and anything with refined sugar. Very fatty foods can also trigger dumping syndrome.

Why Bariatric Surgeons Like Dumping Syndrome

It may seem counterintuitive – your bariatric surgeon thinking that dumping syndrome is beneficial, when you, as the patient, are feeling less than great. But, dumping gives you the parameters to eat properly and allows you to quickly learn what you should and should not be eating after surgery. It helps you keep stay on track and lose weight more quickly while also re-training your body and mind to the new postoperative diet.

The Bottom Line

Bariatric surgery comes with a lot of changes, both physical and psychological. To ensure a successful bariatric journey, refer to your post-operative packet and be sure to ask questions if you’re ever concerned about something like dumping syndrome.

If you would like to talk to a bariatric surgeon about dumping syndrome or other considerations associated with weight loss surgery, give us a call today. VIPSurg is equipped with cutting end technology and years of experience that can give you the resources necessary for successful weight loss.

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