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What is Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping Syndrome is a fairly common result of gastric bypass patients eating high fat or high sugar foods after surgery. Dumping can also happen as a result of drinking water or other liquids during a meal rather than between meals.

Generally speaking, dumping syndrome is not a life-threatening emergency, but it is very uncomfortable. It occurs when the food consumed passes through the stomach too quickly, dumping into the small intestine with very little digestion having taken place. It is also called rapid gastric emptying.

Symptoms of dumping syndrome include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sweatiness, fatigue and other undesirable side effects. These symptoms are usually accentuated in gastric bypass patients since the majority of the stomach has been cut away and the small intestine has been altered. Dumping can happen immediately or up to a few hours after a meal depending on the food consumed and the individual’s metabolism.

There is no sure way to avoid dumping syndrome except to eliminate the foods and actions that cause it. Following your dietitian’s nutritional plan and staying away from high fat and high sugar foods is a must. Patients should also avoid drinking any kind of liquid with a meal. Rather drink water and other liquids 45 minutes before or after a meal.

If you have any questions about dumping syndrome or how to avoid it, speak to your physician or our office. If you have any severe symptoms and believe you are having a medical emergency please call 911 immediately.

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