Getting Through Dumping Syndrome

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Just like with any surgery, weight loss surgery comes with side effects. One of those side effects is the dreaded dumping syndrome. Dumping syndrome occurs because after surgery it can become difficult to process food and therefore it dumps too quickly to the small intestines. This shouldn’t be a surprise to most patients as surgeons typically stress this from the beginning. Patients can experience dumping syndrome in a variety of different ways. There are two types of dumping syndrome: early dumping, which occurs 30 to 60 minutes after eating a meal and late dumping, which occurs 1 to 3 hours after eating a meal. The symptoms depend on the person and how their body responds, but some of the typical symptoms include fatigue, weakness, shakiness, rapid heartbeat, feeling extreme fullness, sweating, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. It is a very uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience when dumping syndrome happens.

So, how do you ensure you won’t have dumping syndrome? Well, the best thing to do is to ensure you are eating a healthy diet with no added sugar. Symptoms can also sometimes come from eating dairy or fried foods. It is different for everyone. The first time you have dumping syndrome, it might scare you. It is an extremely uncomfortable side effect of weight loss surgery. The minute you start experiencing it, you will try to find ways to get it to go away. So, here are a few suggestions to help relieve your symptoms.

  1. Lay down. Some people say this makes it worse, other people find relief from laying down. If you are extremely full, it might feel better to lay down on your back and let it pass. On the other hand, if you are one that does not find relief in laying down, try the opposite by getting up and walking. 
  2. Drink water. This is important and has worked extremely well for some patients. Just taking the time to stop and drink water can help with stabilizing your body. Take baby sips and don’t chug the water as this will make it worse. It is critical for you to stay hydrated after weight loss surgery, especially if you are experiencing extreme diarrhea from dumping syndrome. 
  3. Take deep breaths. When you are having an episode, more than likely your heart will be pounding. It is one of the most uncomfortable feelings that comes with dumping syndrome. Take a minute to meditate and work on your breathing. This will help with the anxiety that you are feeling due to dumping syndrome. 

Finding relief comes with a lot of trial and error. What works for one person might not work for another. Take the time to try different techniques to see how your body responds. If you want to have success after bariatric surgery, one of the best things you can do is get familiar with dumping syndrome and learn ways you can avoid it. You are human and mistakes happen, but try your best to eat clean so you can stay clear of dumping syndrome as much as possible. 

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  • DeniseB

    Dumping syndrome is no joke. It does make me sleepy, have the sweats & the whole 9 yards. Laying down & taking a nap works for me. This is a learning process. You have to be carful eating out. Because you don’t know what these restaurants are putting in the food. I eat home 90% of the time and take my lunch to work with me.

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