What Is Dumping Syndrome and How to Prevent It

What Is Dumping Syndrome and How to Prevent It

Alex Brecher

Dumping syndrome includes symptoms that can occur in patients who have had weight loss surgery. It is more common in patients with gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD-DS) procedures. It can be dramatic and unpleasant, but you can take steps to prevent or reduce its severity. 

Symptoms of Dumping Syndrome

If you have experienced dumping syndrome, you know exactly what it is and you are probably highly motivated to avoid it in the future. If you are getting ready for weight loss surgery or are starting to recover from it, you may have learned a bit about it. The symptoms can be severe.

Early phase symptoms can start about half an hour after you eat. They result from food “dumping” into the small intestines too quickly, causing changes in blood pressure and changes in water balance. Symptoms can include the following.

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Late phase symptoms can result from changes in blood sugar levels. They can occur up to 3 hours after eating. Symptoms can include these.

  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Shakiness or dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat

Foods to Avoid to Prevent Dumping Syndrome

Foods with high amounts of sugar and starch are most likely to cause dumping syndrome. These can include the following.

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, juice drinks, and sports drinks.
  • Pies, cakes, and cookies.
  • Sweet pastries and breads.
  • Candy.
  • White bread and pasta.

Some patients may need to avoid dairy products and alcohol, too.

Low-Carb Choices to Satisfy Cravings without Causing Dumping Syndrome

You may be dedicated to losing weight, but it is still hard to give up favorite foods like chocolates, cookies, and other sweet or starchy foods. You do not need to do so! The BariatricPal Store has all kinds of sweet treats that are low in carbohydrates, sugars, and starches. 

These are some of the low-sugar, low-carb choices that you can find at the BariatricPal Store that are not likely to cause dumping syndrome.

Other Tips for Preventing Dumping Syndrome

Fiber Supplements and Protein Foods can help slow digestion and prevent dumping syndrome. Check out our selection, including Protein Chips, Protein Cookies, Protein Cereal, and Protein Entrees!

Having smaller portions can also help prevent dumping syndrome. This can be challenging, unless you choose single-serve portions of foods. Our snack foods, entrees, and shake mixes all come in single-serve portions.

In addition, staying hydrated can help. What about a Hydration Reminder to keep you on track each day? It will let you know when it’s time to drink up!

The BariatricPal Store is always working to help you succeed after weight loss surgery. In the case of dumping syndrome, we have low-carb treats to keep you from diving for high-sugar, high-starch choices. In addition, check out our helpers such as fiber and protein supplements, single-serve packages, and hydration reminders to keep yourself on track to prevent dumping syndrome. And remember, if you have continued problems, it may be time to check with your surgeon or other healthcare provider about your health and health habits after surgery.

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