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Gastric dumping syndrome

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Gastric dumping syndrome is a post operative effect of stomach surgery. The foods that you consume are dumped into your bowel rapidly because your stomach is absent and this gives rise to several symptoms. We shall explain you the details of gastric dumping syndrome below

Symptoms of gastric dumping syndrome

Early dumping phase: Symptoms appear while eating or after within 15-30 minutes of eating and they are:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain, bloating
  • Lightheadedness, flushing or sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat, palpitations

Late dumping phase: It occurs within 1-3 hours of eating your meal. The symptoms are:

  • Feeling extremely hungry
  • Flushing and sweating
  • Low blood sugar
  • Dizziness, fatigue, mental confusion
  • Fainting and rapid heart beat
  • Causes of gastric dumping syndrome
  • Since your stomach or the pylorus has been removed, the gastric emptying process happens too rapidly.  Symptoms like low blood pressure, vomiting, etc. further get triggered due to large amounts of insulin secreted to breakdown glucose and also due to the gastric hormones released in the small intestine. 
  • Gastric dumping syndrome occurs once you get back to normal diet after surgery. The late phase of dumping syndrome usually happens due to spike of insulin after sugary meals. 

Complications of gastric dumping syndrome

Gastric dumping syndrome when not managed properly tends to become chronic. It can subsequently lead to malnutrition and can have serious impact on lifestyle of patients. They develop phobias towards eating, going outdoor, doing physical activity, etc. and might suffer from depression as well.

When to see a doctor

Your doctor will certainly make you aware of this dumping side effect once before performing the gastric surgery. You will be able to recognize the symptoms easily. So, to manage the problems early, make sure you let your doctor know asap.

Diagnosis of gastric dumping syndrome

Your doctor will Your doctor can figure out that you are suffering from gastric dumping syndrome merely by checking your history of gastric surgery and the symptoms. ask you several questions regarding the frequency, timing and severity of the symptoms.

You need to undergo a gastric emptying test through which your doctor can estimate the rate dumping. Your vital parameters will be measured and blood sugar test or oral glucose tolerance test will also be performed to determine the treatment.

Treatment of gastric dumping syndrome

People with gastric dumping syndrome must follow the diet formulated by doctors. The second approach that can delay emptying of foods is- through medicines (e.g. Acarbose and Octreotide). However, these medicines do not suit everyone.

In severe cases if diet and medicine fail to work, then your doctor might consider corrective gastric surgery or use of feeding tubes.

Diet and lifestyle changes for gastric dumping syndrome

  • Avoid eating sugar, cookies, chocolates, candies, cakes and drinking sugary drinks, alcohol, sweetened juices, etc.
  • Do not drink water along with meals or any solid foods. Also avoid drinking water, alcohol or any liquid before and after 30 minutes of meals.
  • Stick to the 6 small meal plan given by your doctor. Do not devour big portion size of meals in one go.
  • Avoid milk and lactose products as much as possible. You meals should contain more protein and fibres. Complex carbs are also a good choice

Apart from this, if you experience light headedness then lying down for half an hour post meal would help you to feel better. Your doctor might also give you nutritional supplements to boost your overall health and energy.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: December 12, 2014

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