Dreading Dumping Syndrome
Early vs Late Dumping Syndrome
Although different, the symptoms of early and late dumping syndromes are very similar.
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal cramps
- Irregular heartbeats
However, late dumping syndrome can also lead to low blood sugar.
Early dumping syndrome shows up 15-30 minutes after a meal. It occurs when food flushes too quickly through the gut. This could be because of eating too fast, not chewing well or drinking while eating.
Late dumping syndrome, on the other hand, happens when you eat a lot of refined sugars or extremely sweet foods. These concentrated sugars absorb water from the body as they pass through the intestines. After a few hours, they lead to a spike in hormones and a drop in blood sugar, making you feel dizzy and shaky.
Here are some foods that might trigger late dumping syndrome:
- Fruit juices
- Soda drinks
- Sweetened breads
If you are experiencing late dumping syndrome, it is best that you speak with your registered dietitian to discuss what to eat after an episode and find the best solutions for your quick recovery.
How to Avoid Dumping Syndrome
- Distribute your meals and snacks evenly throughout the day.
- Don’t drink and eat at the same time. Drink 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after eating to prevent flushing.
- Choose foods with less than 25 grams of total carbohydrates and less than 10 grams of added sugar. This is usually shown in the nutrition facts table on food packages!
- Make sure to eat protein at each of your meals and snacks. Protein stops sugar from passing too quickly through the gut.
- Be mindful of the amount of sweet foods and refined sugars you eat in a day. An entire box of cookies is different from 1 or 2 homemade cookies. A glass of juice from concentrate is far from a fresh smoothie made with whole fruits, milk and yogurt.
Dumping syndrome can seem like an inevitable evil, but many patients are able to successfully avoid it. Well distributed meals and snacks made from wholesome, protein-rich foods is the way to go!
Written by: Nadeen Mekhael (Dietetic Intern)
– Lisa & Monica