What is Bariatric Dumping Syndrome?

Bariatric dumping syndrome is also called "rapid gastric emptying". When the lower section of the small intestine (jejunum) fills up too rapidly with undigested food or liquid from the stomach, some quite disagreeable digestive effects can occur. In bariatric patients it is most commonly triggered by a weight loss surgery diet that consists of consuming carbohydrates like sugar, or some starches. Post-gastric bypass diet patients should closely monitor the intake of carbohydrates with a high glycemic index.

Bariatric Dumping and the "Post-op Cop"

Symptoms of bariatric dumping include nausea, cramps, lightheadedness, upset stomach, and diarrhea. Feeling queasy and sweaty are often reported indications of dumping. These most unpleasant reactions often occur when a weight loss surgery diet includes much in the way of sweets or carbohydrates.

Dumping is seen sometimes as an intentional side effect of the surgery. It has been called the "Post-op Cop". This is the body's way of telling itself (and you) that sweets and other simple carbohydrates are the last thing it needs right now. Even though it is not a lot of fun to go through, it serves a useful purpose. The "Post-op Cop" encourages proper weight loss surgery nutrition, dieting and weight loss.

Early Dumping Symptoms: Immediately Following a Meal

Early dumping symptoms begin during or immediately following a meal. A patient may feel nauseous, bloated, dizzy, and overly tired. Shortness of breath may occur and diarrhea is common. The main cause of early dumping is because food passes quickly into the small bowel, mixed with only a very small amount of saliva and stomach acid (if any stomach acid at all). The food remains in larger, less broken-up portions than usual.

The small bowel responds to this unusual condition by rushing water into the bowel space. The more rich the food, the more water is rushed into the bowel space to dilute it. The rush of water to the bowels may cause a churning or gurgling effect. The bariatric patient may then feel bloated and gassy. Dizziness, sweating, and rapid heartbeat are common. Diarrhea and vomiting often follow. These symptoms are not necessarily dangerous, but they can certainly seem alarming to a patient that does not understand dumping.

Late Bariatric Dumping Symptoms

Late dumping symptoms normally happen one to three hours after eating. The common symptoms are weakness, dizziness, and sweating. The patient may experience all the signs of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. When a meal is rapidly delivered to the small intestine, the result is a high concentration of carbohydrates in the small bowel and a quick absorption of glucose. This causes high insulin levels and is responsible for the hypoglycemia symptoms. These symptoms generally subside in 30-60 minutes.

Bariatric Dumping: Fairly Common, Yet Easily Avoided

It is not uncommon for weight loss surgery patients to have both early and late symptoms of dumping. The initial treatment for dumping is usually a change in diet. The dumping "Post-op Cop" usually has an easy time convincing patients to alter their gastric bypass diet! Symptoms of bariatric dumping can be quite uncomfortable and more than annoying. A proper diet and avoidance of the problem foods can help prevent dumping. Bariatric patients' monitoring of foods can make all the difference.

Do you have specialized nutrition needs due to recent weight-loss surgery? You can find gastric bypass vitamins and supplements to suit your specific needs with no fillers, binders, or common allergens at

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