What to eat for Dumping syndrome?

Dumping syndrome is a condition that can develop after oesophageal, stomach or intestinal surgery. This includes bariatric surgery such as lap-band or gastric sleeve surgery for weight loss.

In short... dumping syndrome occurs when food, especially sugar, moves from your stomach into your small intestine too quickly. There are two types of dumping syndrome:

1. Early Dumping Syndrome

This is the most common type, occurring 30-60minutes after eating a meal. Early dumping results from rapid gastric emptying of hyperosmolar food content from the stomach into the duodenum (start of small intestine). This rapid emptying results in shifts from the intravascular compartment into the intestinal lumen, in turn causing...

Vasomotor symptoms:

  • Palpitations

  • Dizziness

  • Flushing

  • Fatigue

  • Desire to lie down

Gastrointestinal symptoms:

  • Early satiety

  • Nausea

  • Cramps

  • Explosive diarrhoea

2. Late Dumping Syndrome

Around 25% of individuals have late dumping and a minority have both. Late dumping typically occurs 1-4 hours after eating. It results from the rapid emptying of carbohydrates from the gastric pouch, leading to early high levels of blood glucose, which in turn stimulates the release of excessive amounts of insulin. An excess of insulin then results in your blood glucose levels dropping to super low levels; known as reactive hypoglycemia.

Late dumping symptoms include:

  • Perspiration

  • Shakiness

  • Difficulty with concentration

  • Hunger

What should you eat if you have dumping syndrome?

Diets that slow glucose absorption and reduce the insulin response are recommended for adults experiencing dumping syndrome symptoms.

Ideally, aim to:

  • consume small meals spread throughout the day (~30g carbohydrates / meal)

  • delay fluid intake ≥30 minutes after meals

  • avoid simple carbohydrates and focus on complex carbohydrates

  • choose low glycemic index carbohydrates

  • incorporate vegetables, fruits, unsaturated fats and lean protein sources

  • avoid alcohol

  • limit caffeine intake

  • eat slowly and chew food well

  • include a soluble fibre supplement (up to 15 g) with meals

  • for individuals with severe postprandial hypotension, lying supine for 30 minutes after meals may minimise the chance of low blood pressure


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