Post Surgery and Recovery

Some patients suffer from ‘dumping syndrome’ after their surgery. It is one of the effects of having a shorter digestive tract. The food rushes through the system more quickly than it should. The vagus nerve, that normally controls the speed of digestion, will often have been cut because of the surgery, and for some patients it takes some months for the body to re-train itself to cope with the new system. 

 

Dumping Issues

 

  1. Early dumping is within 30 minutes of eating. Carbohydrates enter the digestive tract quickly and disturb the osmotic balance (concentrations) causing dizziness, faintness, palpitations, low blood pressure, cramping and diarrhoea. Resting immediately after eating may help.

  2. Late Dumping normally occurs 2 - 3 hours after eating or if a meal is missed. It is primarily caused by poorly timed insulin release for the amount of food entering the digestive system and results in feeling faint or sick and shaky. Consuming sugary food may help. 

 

Recommendations for dumping

 

  • Avoid refined carbohydrates, chose lower glycaemic index foods  Include starchy foods as part of meals

  • Small, frequent & regular meals and snacks

  • Chew well: eat slowly

  • Keep liquids separate from meals

  • Dry foods may help

  • Loperamide (Imodium) and Creon may help

 

Should we be eating Low Glycaemic Index Foods minimise dumping?

 

Not all carbohydrate foods behave the same way in our bodies, and the Glycaemic Index rates foods according to how much they affect our blood-glucose levels. So this can become very relevant if you suffer from dumping syndrome or diabetes. Ask your specialist dietician for advice about whether concentrating on low glycaemic index goods might be better for you. 

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This information is not intended to replace actual medical knowledge and advice. Always consult your doctor/specialist if you have any concerns.