dumping-syndrome-personIf you are planning to undergo weight loss surgery, it is very likely that you have heard of dumping syndrome. This digestive issue is common in patients who have undergone weight loss surgery, and although it sounds uncomfortable, it can be avoided with proper eating habits and is not life-threatening.
 

What Is Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping syndrome encompasses a number of symptoms that result from improper regulation of the food you consume. Food empties too quickly into the small intestine, which is responsible for processing and absorbing nutrients into the body. Certain foods make dumping syndrome more likely to occur, including refined sugars, which quickly absorb water from the body. Dairy products and fried food can also cause symptoms.

What Are Common Symptoms of Dumping Syndrome?

The following symptoms may indicate the presence of dumping syndrome:

  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Heart palpitations, rapid heart rate
  • Fainting
  • Shakiness

How Common is Dumping Syndrome?

In a study of more than 1,100 people who have had bariatric surgery, two-thirds experienced some form of dumping syndrome symptoms. To prevent dumping syndrome, follow these recommendations:

  • Avoid problematic foods: These include sugar (donuts, cakes, sweets, cookies, candy, pie, etc), high fat foods (breaded and fried meats, french fries, etc) and dairy (ice cream, milk), as well as any other foods that you personally have a hard time tolerating.

  • Eat small meals. Don’t overwhelm your small stomach with food. Small meals are easier to digest and keep you satiated – not stuffed – throughout the day.

  • Do not drink with your meals: This may sound strange, but your body can better digest food when you drink liquids an hour after consuming solid foods.

Dumping syndrome is unpleasant, but serves as a reminder to avoid foods that promote obesity and work agains your weight loss surgery. By maintaining a strict diet, avoiding trouble foods, and following the guidance of your surgeon & nutrition team, you will be able to live your life without the threat of dumping syndrome.