Dumping Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
If you have never heard of dumping syndrome, consider yourself a lucky one. It is a quite nasty gastric disorder when the foods (especially sugary foods) transfers too quickly from your stomach to the first section of the small intestine (called duodenum). As a result, you may experience the bunch of different unpleasant symptoms starting from nausea and ending with stomach cramps or pain. It can be also dangerous to have a gastric dumping syndrome because it may trigger the blood sugar levels’ drop. It also means that you can’t normally absorb all the necessary nutrients and vitamins when eating foods.
Explaining 2 forms of dumping syndrome
Yes, the worst thing is that this disorder has more than one form. Mayo Clinic distinguishes early dumping syndrome and late dumping syndrome. What is the difference?
- Early dumping syndrome happens about 10-30 minutes after taking a meal. This disorder is mostly associated with the problem of storing the particles of the consumed food in the stomach, especially after eating a large meal. This is the most common form of the dumping syndrome;
- Late dumping syndrome reveals itself only after 2-3 hours from the last meal. This form of dump syndrome is connected with the abnormal movement into the intestine. The quick release of sugar into the blood can increase glucose levels. In its turn, high glucose levels can make the pancreas release more insulin than normally to absorb the high amount of sugar. Such disturbed sugar movement causes the major signs of hypoglycemia.
Dumping syndrome: symptoms and signs
Can you recognize the gastric dumping syndrome without a medical assistance? It is possible if you visit your doctor and tell him or her about the first signs of this gastric disorder. The WebMD experts recommend getting the medical examination for dumping syndrome as soon as possible if you have such symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps;
- Abdominal pain;
- Dizziness or weakness;
- Face flushing;
- Excess sweating;
- A necessity to lie down after meals;
- Increased heart beating.
Additionally, stomach dumping may be caused by the quick movement of fluids into the small intestine. In this case, a person with dumping syndrome may experience abdominal distension, severe diarrhea, and the contractions resembling cramps.
Also, keep in mind that any type of stomach dumping syndrome may lead to the emotional distress. A person may feel anxiety and guilt about eating “too much” because the symptoms of the dumping syndrome resemble the consequences from overeating.
Dumping syndrome: causes and risk factors to beware
If you are wondering what causes dumping syndrome, the answer is probably connected with the abnormal motor functions of your stomach. If you have recently had a gastric bypass surgery there is a high chance of getting dumping syndrome because of it.
What is a gastric bypass surgery? This is a surgery aimed at helping people lose weight by cutting down the section of their stomach and small intestine. According to the recent study held by the experts from Obesity Reviews, about 10% of all patients after a gastric bypass surgery “received” the dumping stomach syndrome. That is why it can be more beneficial to avoid such risk and lose weight naturally, without any surgeries.
The conventional dumping syndrome treatment
The first thing that any doctor would recommend to a patient with dumping syndrome is a regular diet. However, when only a dumping syndrome diet doesn’t seem enough, a health care specialist may also advise taking the medications like Octreotide and Acarbose. Why do some people with stomach dumping syndrome have to take these meds:
- Octreotide is a powerful anti-diarrhea drug (diarrhea is the most common symptom of dumping syndrome). It may also slow down the processes of emptying the consumed food to the small intestine. This medication can be injected only under a doctor’s supervision or if you have trained to make injections on your own. The injections into the buttock muscles are required 2-3 times per day, during 4 weeks. This medicine has a number of side effects like gas, drowsiness, dizziness, vision changes, and gallstones.
- Acarbose – this oral medication is also recommended to the patients with type 2 diabetes because it can control the high blood sugar levels. The adverse reactions related to the regular intake of Acarbose may include gas, upset stomach, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
A number of surgical procedures can be alternatively recommended, if the lifestyle changes, diet, and medications turned out to be ineffective for a person with dumping syndrome.
The expert recommendations for the dumping syndrome diet
Luckily, in the most cases, the signs of dumping syndrome can be reduced by a proper diet. According to Healthline, people who are following the diet for dumping syndrome need to avoid eating such foods:
- Candies, sweets, cakes, pastries, sweetened bread, etc.;
- Any sweet drinks
- Dairy products;
The foods and complements to eat if you suffer from dumping syndrome:
- Opt for the sugar replacements like Stevia, Equal, etc.;
- Try eating more complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread and vegetables, instead of simple carbs like ice cream and sweets;
- Drink no less than 4 cups of sugar-free drinks per day, preferably decaffeinated and noncarbonated beverages. Drink water throughout the day to prevent dehydration, especially if you have diarrhea;
- Consider taking such fiber supplements as Metamucil (psyllium), Citrucel (methylcellulose), or guar gum (Benefiber). Also, you may try taking Pectin and Glucomannan supplements for easing the symptoms of dumping syndrome.
How should you eat if you have dumping syndrome?
- Many experts recommend avoiding consuming solids and liquids during the same meal. For example, it is better drink 30 minutes before or after the meal with solid foods;
- Instead of large meals, opt for 5-6 small meals throughout the day;
- Your portions need to be small, like 1 ounce of meat or ¼ cup of veggies per meal;
- To let the foods digest better, cut it into very small pieces and chew thoroughly before swallowing;
- Also, some doctors recommend combining fats or proteins with starches and fruits. For instance, you may eat a fruit with some cottage cheese during 1 meal;
- Stop eating as soon as you feel full;
- Reclining after taking a meal may prevent dizziness.
It is very important to stay well-nourished if you have dumping syndrome, because losing too much weight can worsen the symptoms. Don’t hesitate to visit a doctor if you suspect having dumping syndrome.