Dumping syndrome is a condition common after most types of stomach surgery, gastric bypass for example. However, dumping syndrome is also common in those suffering from diabetes. Find out how to prevent dumping syndrome and what treatments are available for this condition.
Dumping syndrome occurs when undigested food passes into the small intestine too quickly. A valve located at the top and bottom of the stomach acts as a acid-filled storage tank. It takes food and breaks it down into small parts so that it can pass into the small intestine slowly. However, when dumping occurs, food goes into the small intestine too quickly and only mixes with saliva and not the acid needed to break food down at a slow pace.
When food passes into the small intestine at this fast rate, the small intestine dilutes the food by means of the water recruitment process. Water recruitment is the process of water flushing into the small intestine to dilute food. For diabetics, the higher the sugar content is in food, the more water will come into the small intestine to dilute the food. This begins early dumping syndrome and can lead to late dumping syndrome.
Early dumping takes place about 45 minutes after eating. These symptoms do not endanger life but can be frightening and very uncomfortable. Early signs of dumping include: weakness and fainting, sweating, irregular or rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, flushed skin, dizziness, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhoea or cramps.
Late dumping takes place two to three hours after eating. Late dumping is the result too much insulin building up because of food and fluid going into the small intestine at such a fast rate. High amounts of insulin lower low blood glucose levels and late dumping results. The signs of late dumping syndrome are: perspiration, hunger, shakiness, anxiety, difficulty in concentrating, exhaustion, and faintness.
In dealing with dumping syndrome, prevention is the key. Prevent dumping syndrome by not eating foods that cause dumping. Fats high in sugar content, starches, and fried foods contribute to dumping syndrome. Eat small balanced meals throughout the day and include high-protein foods like lean meats, eggs, cheese, nuts, toast, potatoes, and whole grain items. Milk and other milk products can also promote dumping syndrome, so choose these products wisely.
Treatment for Dumping Syndrome
If early dumping occurs, lay down from 45 minutes until signs of early dumping subside. This will decrease the chance of fainting. Treat late dumping by eating a hard piece of sugar candy, drinking juice or a sugar sweetened soft drink. Allow these methods to stop low blood sugar. Also, eating the recommended amount of fibre in foods like fruits, vegetables and grains can reduce the chances of late dumping.
Acarbose and octreortide are medical remedies to dumping syndrome. Acarbose will slow down food absorption and keep blood glucose levels even. Octreotide, a man-made protein, stops insulin release because it slows down the process of food entering the small intestine.