All You Need to Know About Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome

Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome. Just. Ugh. Many things happen to the body after gastric bypass surgery, because we are changing the simple system of how our food is ingested. There obviously have to be some changes, and things to consider going forward.

All You Need to Know  About Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome article cover image with a dump truck emptying a load

Besides the usual less food and fluid consumption, constipation, and other bloated feelings, numerous patients note they have a strange feeling each time they eat. So, what could be the natural cause of this problem? For a fact, not all patients experience the same issues even though the symptoms are the same, so it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider so they can make a proper diagnosis.

Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome

One of the more common issues experienced by patients is Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome. Reports indicate that an average of 1 in 5 or even 1 in 2 persons may experience this problem. Sounds strange? Well, let us take a journey into finding out what it is…

What is Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping Syndrome is when food is apparently “dumped” straight to the small intestine from the stomach without being digested. Patients are known to experience two types of dumping syndrome…early and late.

Between 10 to 30 minutes after eating, some patients may experience what is referred to as early dumping, while late dumping usually occurs anywhere from 1 to 3 hours after eating. However, the symptoms for both are not necessarily the same.

What Triggers Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome?

Early dumping happens when a large mass of food is directed straight to the small intestine without going through the due digestive process. For some reason, the intestines realize the food mass is too concentrated and, in the process, releases gut hormones.

When this happens, the body shifts fluid circulating through the bloodstream into the small intestine and leads the intestine to feel bloated and full. Within 30 to 60 minutes after this happens, patients can expect diarrhea to occur. In addition to these occurrences, the intestine releases certain substances that affect how the heart operates, leading to patients becoming light-headed or even fainting.

On the other hand, late dumping occurs a few hours after eating and is a result of the rapid rise and fall in one’s blood sugar levels. Late dumping may occur if you consume too much food that is high in sugar and starches or simple carbohydrates. The high levels of fructose or sucrose you intake may cause the insulin level in your body to rise too high and, in turn, lower your blood sugar levels.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dumping Syndrome?  

The interesting yet worrying thing about gastric bypass is that many issues one experiences could be misdiagnosed as the signs and symptoms are generally the same. For those who have dumping syndrome, they could experience issues like:

Early Dumping…

  • Moderate or high stomach cramps and pain
  • Stomach growling or rumbling
  • Extreme sweating
  • Facial flushing
  • Nausea
  • The urge to lie down immediately after eating
  • Heart palpitations and fast heartbeat
  • Feeling full and bloated after consuming small portions of food
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Diarrhea

Late Dumping…

  • Confusion
  • Aggression
  • Extreme sweating
  • Hunger
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Tremors
  • Heart palpitations

Take note, reports have indicated that 1 in every four bariatric patients may experience one or both dumping syndromes. Besides, speaking with your doctor will give a better diagnosis of the problem, and noting the foods you have each time it happens should also be a part of the discussion.

Pathology, types, symptoms and management of dumping syndrome.

How To Prevent and Fix Gastric Bypass Dumping Syndrome

By far, the most effective way to avoid dumping syndrome after your surgery is to remove foods high in fat, sugar, and light carbohydrates. Some of these may include sugary fruit drinks and sodas, alcohol, pastries, cookies, candy, and most dairy products.

You can easily opt for foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables and any other type of foods that encourage healthy digestion. Besides, water does a lot for the digestion process, so it should never be left out of your daily fluid consumption. Other proactive measures you can help to prevent or fix dumping syndrome problems include…

*Avoid drinking water up to 45 minutes after eating

* Instead of eating a bulk of food in one go, try making them into smaller meals. The mission is to consume a certain number of calories per day, and sharing your meals across six different times won’t reduce or increase this quota.  

* Try to go for complex carbohydrates instead of simple options. Whole grains are a great choice and are better options than foods made from white flour and sugar.

* You can opt to add more protein and healthy fats to your diet

* If you have a dairy product each time, it leaves you with the problem, it is best to eliminate it from your diet completely.

An important point to note is that some medical experts have noted patients can add a little thickness to their food, such as adding pectin or guar gum. However, not many people are keen on those additives, so they go without them.

If you have made the necessary changes to your diet and there is still no improvement, you need to make your doctor aware. They may prescribe slow-release medicines, which have a 50-50 chance of working or not. In the case it worsens or doesn’t change with any of the above options, your doctor may recommend doing corrective surgery or tube feeding.

Gastric bypass dumping syndrome is a regular thing for patients and can be treated with simple steps. However, seeing many of the issues associated with the surgery are similar, it is highly recommended you go to your doctor for a proper diagnosis as you do not want to compound the problem by self-medicating based on assumptions. 

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