New here, how to deal with Dumping? Can it hurt me long term?

on 9/24/20 11:40 am
RNY on 06/25/20

I'm new here and had surgery in June. I didn't know about this site until after I had surgery, but sure wish I had. The office was pretty good about most information I think but didn't mention what is called dumping syndrome or I missed it, and I need to know if anyone can describe it and how many symptoms can there be? Can you have it more than once, and is it harmful long term?

Sorry for so many questions, but I trust people who are living the experience.

on 9/24/20 1:36 pm, edited 9/24/20 6:37 am
RNY on 06/03/15

not everyone dumps. The statistic that's been thrown around here (and I have no idea if there's any medical research behind this) is that about 30% of us dump. But I've been hanging around on this site for around six years, and based on what I've seen/read, I wouldn't doubt that statistic. It seems like a lot of us have never dumped...

dumping is when sugar (although I've read that fat can cause it, too) - passes into your small intestine too quickly, and your body goes into overdrive trying to deal with it. People experience sweating, chills, heart palpitations, weakness, diarrhea, sometimes nausea and vomiting.

evidently it happens sometimes with sleeve patients, too, but it's more common in bypass patients because the pyloric valve is bypassed, meaning there's no "gatekeeper" at the entrance to your small intestine.

you can avoid it by limiting - or avoiding - sugar.

I don't think it's necessarily harmful long term, but people who've experienced it have said it's something you DON'T want to experience...

on 9/25/20 8:19 am
RNY on 06/25/20

catwoman7, thank you for this information. As I said, I may have missed the dumping part of the information and this really helps to have input from people who have had surgery and are willing to share. Two of my meetings with the RD were with telemedicine and I admit I could have been distracted.

The team did stress that it is important to avoid sugar, so I have that at the top of my list, and fatty foods or fried foods are there too, so maybe if I stick with those and my healthy meal plan, I can avoid dumping. I've read some about it on this website and didn't feel like I knew exactly what it was, my reason for asking.

Thank you!

White Dove
on 9/24/20 2:43 pm - Warren, OH

I did not think I had it until five years after surgery. On Halloween I had worked until 1:OO AM. I sat down to watch TV and there was a bowl of candy on the table. I started mindlessly eating it. All at once my heart started pounding, I broke out in a sweat, felt weak, and dizzy. I thought it was a heart attack.

It lasted about 20 minutes. I had eaten very small amounts of sugar before that with no problems. I don't think it has any lasting effects, but you could fall and hurt yourself when in that state. Some people also get nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.

It happens to about 30% of RNY patients. You get very careful about sugar after it happens. If you are very careful about sugar, you may never experience it in your life.

Real life begins where your comfort zone ends

on 9/25/20 8:22 am
RNY on 06/25/20

Wow, it took five years for it to show up? I guess you had been staying very close to your plan up until then. From what you describe, I really need to be aware of what I'm eating so I can prevent ever dumping. It sounds awful.

Thank you!

on 9/24/20 3:34 pm

I had recently had occasion to do a little research on dumping as I feared my information was out of date, or worse, wrong.

The sources I found that are trust worthy and don't seem to have an axe to grind indicate statistics vary pretty dramatically. Dumping varies by surgeon (minor differences to surgeries, amount bypassed, shape and location of pouch, presumably other things), patient (amazingly we are all different), and other factors such as diet, exercise, and who knows what else. The statistics say anywhere from 1 in 5 (20%) to 1 in 2 (50%) of patients dump.

Being one of the more common complications I find it difficult to believe a surgeon or their team didn't discuss the possibility. I've been in the same presentation with 6 people and 6 people came out of it with 6 often contradictory recollections of what was discussed. I suppose similar could be said of surgeons: Only about half of surgeons can be in the top 50% performing the procedure.

Someone described the symptoms above fairly well but also add gastric distress (nausea, cramps) and diarrhea. Both sugar and fat can cause dumping. For me, if I'm feeling even slightly under the weather, slightly over tired, take too much or badly timed medications and dumping becomes that much easier.

I've dumped over the years, and it's never as fun as you might think. It's a terrific educator. I can't remember how often I've dumped, but it hasn't been often and it's been longer between each as time marches on. The last time I dumped involved a medication error that in addition to the normal features I also passed out, fell to the floor, and lost control of my body for several minutes once I regained consciousness. Another red letter day for me.

My Doc and I talked a fair bit about, well, everything. But dumping was in there. I conveyed that dumping was a complication I wanted because if I tested the surgery I wanted the surgery to test me back. During this discussion he told me 50% of folks didn't get dumping which is where I got my 50% number. Maybe back then, 50% was more accurate, who knows. I told him I'd slip him a few bucks if he could put the dumping option in.

Good luck and enjoy your exciting times ahead.


on 9/25/20 9:07 am
RNY on 06/25/20

Tekish, thank you for providing detailed information. I definitely am bookmarking what you responded with as reference info to have along with information from the others here. I do admit I must have obviously missed the discussion on dumping, but reading what others write here gives me some great questions to ask the RD when I speak with him next week. One of my online telemedicine sessions was interrupted a couple of times and it was very distracting. Hopefully the one next week is clear and I will be asking many questions since I got some ideas from you all here.

From what you wote, it seems like once someone dumps they hopefully learn from it and in many cases can make adjustments to have it not happen again, so I'm going to try to adhere strictly to my plan and see what happens. Dumping is something I hope never to experience!

on 9/24/20 4:36 pm
RNY on 07/23/14

They just had an article on the OH front page recently about it, you might want to search for it.

Like everything there is not a one size-fits-all answer to what triggers it... basics yes, but it can look different. You just have to ride it out... and just know it will not necessarily happen.

Cynthia 5'11" RNY 7/23/2014

Goal reached 17 months. 220lb Weight Loss
Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Michaels - LBL and Hernia Repair 2/29/16, Arm Lift, BL, 5/2/16, Leg Lift 7/25/16

#lifeisanadventure #fightthegoodfight #noregrets



on 9/25/20 3:39 pm

I haven't had surgery yet and I (honestly) never want to know what it's like to dump, as I have read everyone gets it differently, not everyone throws up, but it could be as small as an elevated heart rate, a headache, chills, stomach cramps, gas, bowel movements... all of the above or a variation... Hoping to stick to the plan as best I can!

I have found so many helpful articles, as the above poster suggested, there was a great article (among others) recently posted but I figured I'd take it a step further and post a direct link here. I just went to the articles section and searched "Dumping".

(deactivated member)
on 9/29/20 2:22 am
RNY on 01/01/14

I dump severely if I eat too much sugar ( rolling on the floor praying to God PLEASE take this away I'll never do it again ..) - and like Tek says - it sure is an educational experience.

As a result I usually avoid sugar and even if I bake I try to use only fruit in fillings or stevia sweetener. I even cut the sugar in ( fat free too ) homemade triple chocolate brownies by using low fat half sugar free dark chocolate chips , stevia and unsweetened cocoa powder.

You can get sugar free just about everything if you keep an eye out for it - but FYI some people also dump from the sugar alcohols that are used to sweeten sugar free candies and so forth.

Basically you have to control yourself :)

I'm lucky nine years post op I basically eat small portions even of good food. The last time I dumped was on a ****tail ... which also contain a TON of sugar in the form of " simple syrup" which is half sugar half water and an essential ingredient in most ****tail drinks.

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