What is Dumping Syndrome?
Dumping syndrome occurs when the food you eat passes too rapidly from the stomach into the small intestine. The medical field also calls it “rapid gastric emptying.” Although the condition is relatively common following a gastric bypass surgery, symptoms are not usually severe. Dumping syndrome sometimes also occurs after esophageal surgery and can happen with any stomach-related surgery, including procedures for diseases such as stomach cancer. (x)
A common symptom of dumping syndrome is experiencing diarrhea and stomach cramps right after eating, mainly when the meal is high in sugar. Other signs of the condition include dizziness, flushed skin, nausea, vomiting, bloating, or feeling too full. A rapid heart rate and heart palpitations, which are sometimes more noticeable when lying down (and especially at night), are also potential signs of dumping. (x)
While many people experience symptoms shortly after eating or early dumping, late dumping (or gastroparesis) is also common. Also, these signs sometimes don’t show up for a few hours after a meal. Diarrhea, cramping, rapid heart rate and dizziness or lightheadedness symptoms are common in both early and late dumping; however, a person with late dumping syndrome may also feel weak and become sweaty. Some people experience early and late symptoms so that the symptoms can emerge many years after gastric bypass surgery. (x)
Connection to Gastric Bypass Surgery
A complete gastric bypass surgery reduces the stomach size significantly, and the surgeon makes a new connection into your small intestine, bypassing about half of the small intestine. With gastric sleeve surgery, the procedure reduces the stomach size by 70-80 percent, but the connection to the small intestine remains unchanged. In fact, the medical field created gastric sleeve surgery to help the severely obese lose enough weight so their bodies could have gastric bypass surgery. Conversely, doctors discovered that patients lost enough weight with just the initial surgery. (x)
Bowel movements after gastric sleeve surgery vary from person to person. Some have a BM shortly afterward, while others complain of days going by without anything. Staying hydrated is essential and can help get things moving again. Your doctor may prescribe an increase in fiber intake or a laxative, such as a methylcellulose, if your constipation becomes a problem.
The mini-gastric bypass is a simplified version of the original or Roux-en-Y surgery, and may also cause dumping, but less so than the standard bypass. As a general rule, the more of the stomach removed, the more likely dumping will happen. (x)
Dumping Syndrome Symptoms
Dumping syndrome symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhea right after eating, feeling dizzy, sweating or having a flushed face, a rumbling or growling stomach and nausea, particularly after eating sugar. Sugar will often act as an irritant on a stomach that has undergone gastric bypass surgery and can cause diarrhea. (x)
Both early and late dumping syndrome exists, but the primary difference is that early symptoms are apparent right after eating. Late symptoms occur, of course, later — hours later or sometimes even longer after eating. A person may suffer from one or the other, or both. (x)
Dumping Syndrome Causes
As mentioned previously, any stomach-related surgery can cause dumping syndrome. The most common causes are as follows:
- Gastrectomy (stomach removal surgery)
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Esophagectomy (removal of part or all of the esophagus)
- Any stomach-related surgery (for stomach cancer and so forth)
Supplements for Dumping Syndrome
Supplements that can help delay stomach emptying and thus reduce or eliminate the symptoms of dumping syndrome include fiber sources, including pectin, guar gum, psyllium husks, glucomannan and methylcellulose. Review this with your healthcare provider before starting any of these supplements:
Pectin is a type of fiber that comes from citrus fruits and legumes. Studies show that it can reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with dumping syndrome by delaying stomach emptying. (x)
- Guar Gum
Guar gum is another kind of fiber. It thickens a food’s texture and can be helpful when eating a lot of pureed foods, such as in the early days following bariatric surgery. It’s been effective in studies to help increase food tolerance in those who suffer from dumping syndrome. (x) Take 1,500 mg of this supplement one to three times daily 15-30 minutes before a meal.
Methylcellulose is a kind of fiber derived from plants that your body cannot digest. For constipation, you can use methylcellulose as a laxative to help soften stools and make them easier to pass. Take 1,000 mg with 8 oz. of water up to six times per day. (x)
- Psyllium Husk
Psyllium husk is an edible form of soluble fiber that the large intestine partially digests. When mixed with water, it doesn’t dissolve but forms a gel instead. Like many of the other fibers listed, psyllium can also delay stomach emptying. (x) The usual dose for adults is 5 grams. Mix it into 8 oz. of water one to three times daily.
Glucomannan is a fiber derived from the konjac plant that originated in Asia. It can absorb about 50 times its weight in water, and according to studies, can delay the emptying process from the stomach. (x) Take 2 grams once or twice daily with 8 oz. of water 30 minutes before a meal.
Where to Buy Supplements for Dumping Syndrome?
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Are you interested in trying any of these powders or supplements mentioned in this article as a possible solution to helping you with dumping syndrome? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
How to Avoid Dumping Syndrome
You may hear the complaint, “Food goes right through me!” in those who have had gastric bypass surgery, and there is definitely an adjustment period. Thankfully, you and your body will recover from the procedure and adjust to a new diet.
What Not to Eat
Many foods are gas-producing culprits. By avoiding them, your stomach will probably feel less bloated and uncomfortable. The list of things to pass on includes dairy products, sugar and artificial sweeteners, beans, ‘white’ or processed carbs, fried foods and alcohol. Certain vegetables can also cause flatulence, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes and onions. (x)
Follow the Gastric Bypass Diet
Many people prefer to avoid bypass surgery and just follow the gastric bypass diet instead. The gastric bypass diet consists of about 60 grams of protein per day, a limited amount of fat and fewer than 10 grams of sugar at any one meal. In the early days following surgery, the food is either pureed or consumed in the form of liquid protein drinks. (x)
Eat Smaller Meals
For you or those who have had the surgery and want to prevent dumping syndrome, it’s a good idea to eat five or six smaller meals rather than three larger ones. Avoid drinking fluids for a half-hour both before and after meals. Increase your fiber intake and make sure every meal contains protein. Chew thoroughly. Avoid sugary foods and beverages, along with foods high in fat and alcohol. (x)
The Bottom Line
Dumping syndrome is a health concern in which food moves too quickly from the stomach to the small intestine and is a common side effect of gastric bypass surgery. Symptoms include diarrhea, dizziness and a loud, grumbly stomach. Fortunately, one can alleviate these symptoms by eating an appropriate diet. Supplements such as pectin, psyllium husk and glucomannan can also help.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.