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Avoiding Dumping Syndrome After Surgery

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Dumping syndrome is a sensation that can occur after weight loss surgery, and there are things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing these symptoms. Dumping syndrome occurs when food moves so quickly from the small stomach pouch to the small intestine that it gets “dumped” without proper digestion.

This is divided into further categories of “early” or “late” dumping syndrome, which happen within 10 to 30 minutes or one to three hours, respectively. With early dumping syndrome, little digestion occurs, and you can have symptoms of bloating, elevated pulse and blood pressure, and, rarely, fainting episodes. Late dumping syndrome can occur after an episode of low blood sugar, or reactive hypoglycemia, and is more likely to happen after eating sweets or simple carbohydrates.

What to Eat

Consuming a healthy diet can be a powerful tool to prevent dumping syndrome. Be sure to include plenty of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and vegetables. This decreases your risk of the reactive hypoglycemia that can lead to late dumping syndrome. Also, eat enough protein and fat in your meals to create a balanced approach. Protein can also aid in blood sugar management, and dietary fat can slow the absorption rate of carbohydrates. Consider using sugar replacements as well.

What to Avoid Eating

Certain changes to your diet can improve the symptoms of dumping syndrome or even avoid them altogether. It’s important to stay away from simple carbohydrates made with white flour or sugar as they can adversely affect your blood sugar levels. Also, if you struggle with dumping syndrome, consider cutting dairy out of your diet to see if your symptoms improve.

Actions You Can Take

Keeping these guidelines in mind can reduce your symptoms with dumping syndrome. Please keep your meals small, and divide your daily caloric needs into six, smaller meals. Also, consider laying down for 30 minutes after eating to ease digestion, and wait until that time is up to drink fluids. You may also wish to thicken your food or add fiber supplements to slow down the absorption of your meals.

These tips and tricks can make a big difference with dumping syndrome. As always, if you experience persistent symptoms, please follow up with your health care provider right away.