What Happens When You’re Gastrically Altered – Dumping Syndrome, The Fun Never Ends!

While the common term for what we’re going to talk about today is Dumping Syndrome, I much prefer the alternative term – rapid gastric emptying.  As a fat chick, it sounds like the closest thing to exercise I’m going to get.

So here is essentially the deal of why dumping happens.  You’re happily eating away, ignoring the Eating Commandments of the Gastrically Altered (that’s another post for next time), and the food decides to completely bypass that whole annoying stomach thing ya got going and heads straight for the duodenum (which is that hard to pronounce funny thing also known as your upper small intestine).  The duodenum expands very quickly to accommodate the food, and, well my good gastrically altered friends, that’s when all hell breaks loose.

And now you want to know WHAT happens when this happens.  I know you do – you’re just curious little buggers!

Basically, the duodenum declares mutiny.  It recognizes that you’ve done something completely unacceptable and it’s pissed the hell off!  It rounds up its friends – the pancreas, the stomach, the lower intestine – and the revolution begins!

Sometimes, the symptoms begin mildly, with some nausea and maybe some dizziness.  Gradually, the Bodacious Bowel Brothers join the madness – you’ll recognize them when they arrive – cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.  Somewhere between all this nonsense, I end up laying on the bathroom floor, because accompanying all this happiness going on, you get so tired, so quickly, you can barely pick your head up in the most extreme cases.

But wait, there’s more!

There’s something called “Late Dumping”, which happens usually an hour or more after you’ve eaten (whereas plain old regular dumping is a fairly quick process – within a few minutes).  Late dumping is usually accompanied by just a complete body weakness, sweating, and oh yeah, more dizziness.  Remember that bathroom floor I spoke of?  It becomes your very best friend.

And as if you haven’t had enough fun yet, order your Dumping Syndrome now and we’ll include at no extra cost a hypoglycemic reaction!  (shipping and handling charges apply)

Now that you know what it is, how do you NOT get it?

You’re gonna hate this answer.  You have to watch your diet.  Bummer, right?

The main triggers for dumping syndrome are fats and carbohydrates.  Early dumping (the nausea, cramping, bloating, etc.) is generally associated with eating fats.  Because you are gastrically altered, fats don’t digest the same way they used to, and it can cause dumping.  Late dumping is often a carb related event.

If you are a frequent dumper – or if you have concerns that you might be – the solution is easy.  Skip the simple sugars and limit carbs and fats.  Spread your meals out over the course of the day into six smaller meals.  Oh, and don’t drink with your meal.  Taking some big swigs of water or tea or whatever your drink of choice may be can actually facilitate the rapid gastric emptying.  Drink after your meal has had time to digest or drink before (although I don’t recommend that, because you will fill your pouch with non-nutritive liquid as opposed to food).

In extreme cases, you may be required to take medication or worse – there are some sufferers who eventually require surgical intervention.

So there, in a nutshell, is Dumping.  You don’t want it.  Avoid it at all costs.

Oh, and learn what it feels like in your body at least once.  I mistakenly thought I was dumping when I actually had a life threatening bowel obstruction that required emergency surgery by the time I got to the hospital!