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Bariatric Surgery

Dumping Syndrome

What is dumping syndrome?

Dumping syndrome is a group of symptoms that happen when food moves too fast from the stomach to the small intestine. People who have had surgery on their stomach or intestine may develop dumping syndrome.

Some symptoms of dumping syndrome can develop as early as 30 minutes after eating or drinking. Symptoms may include:

  • nausea or vomiting
  • stomach pain or cramping
  • diarrhea
  • feeling full or bloated
  • a faster heart beat

Some symptoms develop 1 to 3 hours after eating and are called late symptoms. Late symptoms happen when there are changes to the amount of insulin and sugar in your blood. They include:

  • flushing or sweating
  • feeling like you need to lie down right away
  • feeling weak or dizzy
  • feeling anxious, nervous, or shaky
  • a drop in blood pressure

Many people are able to manage dumping syndrome by changing the way that they eat such as:

  • eating smaller meals, throughout the day
  • limiting food and drinks higher in sugar​
  • choosing foods with fibre
  • not drinking fluids with meals or snacks

Dumping syndrome can also prevent your body from properly absorbing nutrients you need. Your dietitian will tell you which foods are best to eat after having bariatric surgery and which foods to limit to help prevent dumping syndrome. Talk to your healthcare team if you develop any symptoms of dumping syndrome.

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