Dumping syndrome is the term collectively used for representing many symptoms that occur after you underwent stomach surgery. It develops on people who had recently undergone surgery for removing part of stomach. Symptoms of dumping syndrome may range from mild to severe. It can be treated completely by making small changes in your diet habit and by medications.
Symptoms of dumping syndrome appear as quickly as you finished eating or after 3 hours of eating anything. Undigested food particles of the stomach move rapidly into the intestine before getting fully absorbed. Some of the common symptoms of dumping syndrome that occur shortly after a meal are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Often, it would cause feeling of fullness in your stomach making it difficult to eat anymore. For some people, it may cause dizziness and rapid heartbeat.
Symptoms that occur 2-3 hours after eating are fatigue, profuse sweating and hunger. All these symptoms occur due to deposition of large volumes of sugar particles into the intestine leading to excess secretion of insulin which in turn lowers the blood sugar level. Some people may feel dizzy and confused with heart palpitation. They may faint and lose consciousness for few minutes. The symptoms get worse after a heavy meal.
During gastric surgery which is done often to lose weight, some parts of the stomach are removed and a bypass is created. This would subsequently affect the normal movement of the food which in turn gets dumped into the small intestine rapidly. Food particles along with gastric juices move from the stomach to the intestine in a rapid fashion without any control.
It is due to the removal of pylorus (a part that connects stomach with the small intestine). Without any brake or barrier to control the food movement, all the food materials gets into the small intestine which in turn releases volumes of insulin to process the food.
Who are at risk?
Dumping syndrome occurs only to people who had recently undergone stomach surgery like gastrectomy, gastroenterostomy or vagotomy. Any type of surgery on the stomach in which a portion of stomach is removed can cause dumping syndrome. People with diabetes and cyclic vomiting syndrome can develop this problem in rare cases.
In extreme cases, significant weight loss can happen when the food particles are not absorbed.
Dumping syndrome can be detected easily by making complete medical evaluation of the patient. Your doctor may find out whether you have done with stomach surgery recently. He may order for blood sugar test and test for measuring gastric emptying.
Most of the symptoms can be reduced by making some changes in eating style and selecting right food that suits your digestive system. Medications are given only for people who cannot overcome the symptoms even after making changes in lifestyle. Acarbose is given for causing delay in absorption of carbohydrates. Drugs like sandostatin are recommended to slow down the food processing in the intestine. Often this drug is injected on the skin before taking your meal.
This would eventually make good the absorption thus reducing the symptom of dumping syndrome. Both these drugs can cause side effect like diarrhea and flatulence. In severe cases, surgery is done for restricting the pylorus or alternatively a feeding tube is inserted into the small intestine which would deliver the food particles in streamlined fashion.
Modifications In Food Habit :
- Eat only smaller quantities of food instead of heavy meal. You can switch over to take 6 meals a day in the place of 3.
- Do not take water or any fluids between meals. Take water only after half-an-hour after eating.
- Restrict the intake of high sugary foods and increase the intake of protein rich foods. Increase the amount of fiber intake.
- Eat slowly and chew your food well which helps in easy digestion. Avoid taking any type of acidic foods.
- Consult a dietician and prepare a diet chart.