Dumping syndrome

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Dumping syndrome is a medical problem among individuals who have undergone gastric surgery. It is a symptom which occurs when a part of the stomach or the whole stomach has been removed. A host of symptoms starts to develop when food moves at a rapid pace from the stomach into the small intestines. This is called as rapid gastric emptying.

Diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea are the common symptoms of dumping syndrome. These symptoms happen soon after the individual eats or as late as three hours after a meal. It is important to note that most of these symptoms are mild but has the potential to become severe.

People who undergo gastric bypass surgery in order to lose weight are at a high risk of developing dumping syndrome but can be treated with dietary changes.

Dumping-syndrome
Abdominal pain is one of the symptoms of dumping syndrome.

The symptoms of dumping syndrome that typically manifests after an hour of eating is called early dumping syndrome which includes the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea and nausea
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Giddiness
  • Headaches
  • Feeling of fullness even after eating small amounts of foods
  • Excessive sweating
  • Palpitations

Late symptoms of dumping syndrome which happens 1 to 3 hours after eating can be triggered by low level of blood sugar due to an increased release of insulin by the pancreas.

  • Excessive hunger
  • Weakness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Mental confusion
  • Shaking and body is shivering
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty in concentrating

Complications of dumping syndrome

  • Loss of weight and malnutrition that might be due to fear of eating due to the discomfort caused by rapid dumping of undigested food.
  • People avoid engaging in outdoor activities in order to be readily accessible to a toilet.
  • Some people have difficulty in keeping their jobs due to their chronic symptoms.

Treatment of dumping syndrome

  • Eat small meals 5 to 6 times in a day at an interval of 2-3 hours instead of three large meals.
  • Chew the food and eat small pieces of foods instead of large sizes.
  • Avoid dairy and oily foods as well those that contain plenty of sugar such as candy, soft drinks, pastries, sweets and cookies.
  • Eat more protein-rich foods such as meat, chicken and fish since these can help with dumping syndrome.
  • Drink fluids before and after 30 minutes of a meal. Remember not to include solid and fluids in the same meal.
  • After eating food, the individual can lie down at least for an hour. This helps delay the emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestines.
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat foods rich in fiber such as vegetables and whole wheat bread since they help minimize the chances of late dumping syndrome.
  • Avoid eating acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits because they are hard to digest.
  • Cook meat and other foods using low-fat cooking methods such as broiling, baking or grilling.
  • Take vitamin supplements such as iron and calcium.

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