If 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. Many of those patients wonder: How long does dumping syndrome last?
Although it sounds uncomfortable, dumping syndrome can be avoided with proper eating habits. It is not life-threatening, either.
And the best news is that weight-loss surgery can help with the side effects of obesity, including high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and more.
So when considering surgery and the possibility of dumping syndrome, keep in mind that benefits will likely outweigh the negatives, if any.
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 early dumping syndrome more likely to occur, including refined sugars, which quickly absorb water from the body. Sugary beverages, starches, and fried food can also cause symptoms.
What Are Common Symptoms of Dumping Syndrome?
The following symptoms may indicate the presence of dumping syndrome:
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Heart palpitations, rapid heart rate
- Stomach cramping
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. Johns Hopkins Medicine, on the other hand, reports that dumping syndrome “can happen in at least 3 out of 20 people who have had a part of their stomach removed for any reason.”
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 against your weight loss surgery. By maintaining a strict diet, avoiding trouble foods, and following the guidance of your surgeon and nutrition team, you will be able to live your life without the threat of dumping syndrome.
WeightWise Weight-Loss Surgery
There are a variety of surgeries that have been proven over the long term to help obese patients lose weight. As the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reminds us, “each surgery has its own advantages and potential drawbacks. Your bariatric surgeon will review your health history and work with you to determine which surgery is best for you.”
Many weight-loss surgeries result in a smaller stomach, which reduces the amount of food one can eat, and thus reduces the number of calories consumed. Bariatric surgery can help you feel full hours after eating.
Some bariatric procedures create a small pouch in the stomach. Others remove part of the stomach. As mentioned above, your care providers at WeightWise will discuss your options with you (adjustable gastric band, gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch, gastric balloon, etc.).
WeightWise differs from other programs in that we take a holistic approach to weight loss. Surgery is only one part of a wider approach to not only help our patients lose weight and get back on the path to health and wellness.
Our goal: To help our patients through a safe and effective weight-loss surgery; to monitor them through massive weight loss post-surgery; to assist them in maintaining long-term weight loss goals while working to help increase their vigor and health.
As we like to say, we don’t offer a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, the “WeightWise Preoperative Process” has been fine-tuned over nearly two decades to achieve results for the patients in our care — and whom we care so much about.