Dumping – it’s not just needing the toilet in a hurry!

We have noticed the word ‘dumping’ being used a lot in weight loss surgery circles and suspect it is being overused.

Needing to go to the toilet in a hurry is not necessarily dumping.

It can be part of it, but dumping generally has a greater impact on the body.

There are two types of dumping:

1. Early dumping, which occurs 30-60 minutes after eating and can last up to 60 minutes. It occurs when sugars or carbs empty rapidly from the pouch or sleeve into the small intestine. This causes the release of hormones that effect blood pressure, heart rate, skin flushing and faster movement of food through your digestive system. Symptoms can include sweating, flushing, lightheadedness, elevated heart rate, palpitations, a need to lie down, nausea, diarrhoea, cramping and noisy bowels sounds.

2. Late dumping occurs 1-3 hours after eating. Late dumping symptoms are related to an oversupply of insulin, as your body is trying to deal with extra sugar or high GI carbs. This extra insulin causes hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels). Symptoms are related to the low blood sugar levels and include sweating, shakiness, loss of concentration, hunger and fainting or passing out.

Unfortunately dumping:

  • makes you feel awful
  • can be confused with other problems
  • is scary and can sometimes be difficult to manage.

It may be that some adjustments to your diet help manage dumping syndromes. An expert in this area,  endocrinologist Dr Gaurav Puri says “The best thing you can do is modify the diet. Slowly digested carbohydrate, less of it, more often.” This is something that you generally need to work closely with a dietitian specialised in weight loss surgery to negotiate a plan.

If this does not help, there are also a range of medications that are available which may assist in managing symptoms (in conjunction with dietary change), if symptoms do persist long term.

Be sure to contact your weight loss surgery support team if you are concerned and need help managing this.

If your dietitian is not experienced in the management of dumping syndrome, our team can offer support via an individual consultation. Call (08) 8164 6945 for details.

Dumping Syndrome