To alleviate the symptoms of Dumping Syndrome, such as nausea and diarrhea, for example, it is essential to eat a diet low in foods such as bread, potatoes or pasta rich in carbohydrates throughout the day, use medications to reduce discomfort, such as Acarbose, under medical prescription and, in more severe cases, it may be necessary to have surgery on the esophagus.
Dumping Syndrome occurs due to the very fast passage of food from the stomach to the intestine and can develop after weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass or vertical gastrectomy, but it also happens in diabetic patients or with Zollinger- Ellison, for example.
The symptoms of this syndrome may appear immediately after eating or, when digestion is already taking place, occurring about 2 to 3 hours later.
Immediate Symptoms of Dumping Syndrome
The most common symptoms of Dumping Syndrome, appear immediately after eating food or up to 10 to 20 minutes after, and the initial symptoms include a feeling of heaviness in the belly, nausea and vomiting.
Between 20 minutes and 1 hour, intermediate symptoms may appear , which can lead to abdominal enlargement, gas, abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea.
Generally, foods high in sugar, such as sweets, or eating large amounts of food cause symptoms to appear more quickly.
Late symptoms of Dumping Syndrome
Late symptoms of Dumping Syndrome can appear 1 to 3 hours after eating and can be:
- Anxiety and irritability;
- Weakness and tiredness;
- Difficulty concentrating.
These late symptoms occur due to the fact that the small intestine does not tolerate the presence of sugar, leading to the release of large amounts of insulin, causing hypoglycemia.
In these cases, the patient should stop what he is doing, sit or lie down and treat hypoglycemia immediately, to avoid fainting. Find out how to do it at: How to treat hypoglycemia .
Treatment for Dumping Syndrome
Treatment for Dumping Syndrome begins with adjustments in the patient’s diet by a nutritionist to reduce the discomfort caused. Read more at: What to eat in Dumping Syndrome.
However, it may also be necessary to use medications prescribed by the doctor, such as Acarbose or Octreotide, for example, which delay the passage of food from the stomach to the intestine and reduce peaks in glucose and insulin after meals, reducing signs and symptoms caused by the disease.
In more severe cases, where symptoms are not controlled with diet or medication, surgery to the esophagus may be necessary to strengthen the cardia muscle, which is the muscle between the stomach and the first part of the intestine. In these cases, the patient may need to be fed by a tube inserted in the abdomen to the intestine, called a jejunostomy.
When to go to the doctor
The patient should go to the doctor when:
- He has signs and symptoms of Dumping Syndrome and has not had bariatric surgery;
- It has symptoms that remain even following the instructions of the gastroenterologist and nutritionist;
- You have rapid weight loss .
The patient must go to the doctor to adjust the treatment and prevent complications such as anemia or malnutrition and, in order to be able to do day-to-day activities, as malaise limits the ability to work, take care of the house or exercise