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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dehydration & Dumping Lead to Hypovolemia
Contributor Diane Shield's Story

I wanted to share this story with you and the other members at LivingAfterWLS.

You are often talking about not getting too comfortable with your surgery. It's easy to do when you get long term. You can get to the point where you take things for granted. I'm guilty of that and you won't believe what it almost cost me.

Every person having WLS is familiar with "Dumping Syndrome". They talk about right from the first. When you're a newbie, you NEVER forget the first time you experience it. I know I didn't. Carbs were my culprit. So I have since adhered to a low carb way of eating. Shoot, I even make my own ketchup. I cook most everything from scratch. All this so I have firm control of the carbs I put in my body.

I told you about having my gallbladder removed. Well, I was pretty sick for a few weeks before and after. Needless to say I was getting in the nutrition or fluids I needed. Also, when I'm sick I want to reach for comfort foods. This single act of taking my surgery for granted, getting too comfortable, nearly cost me my life.

Because I had not been getting in enough fluids for a few weeks, I was told by my MD I was MILDLY dehydrated. Being sick I gave into my craving for comfort food. The dumping syndrome caused by the carbs led to a life threatening condition HYPOVOLEMIA. Hypovolemia is a result of dumping. The body pulls fluid out of the system into the intestines to dilute whatever is there. Hence the dizziness, sweating, etc.

I wasn't feeling well so I walked up the hill to my parents’ house. They live next door. I was short of breath, sweating, dizzy. I passed out. My mom called 911 when she couldn't get me awake. They rushed me to the ER. My blood pressure was 60/30, pulse 195, blood sugar 350. I was in shock. They did tons of things to stabilize my condition. I was discharged the next day once my MD came to see me. The culprit in all of this---RICE AND GRAVY.

When I was young, my mom would always fix me rice and gravy when I was sick. It would always ease my stomach. I thought, hey, a little won't hurt me. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

What my MD explained to me, dumping is USUALLY not a problem. But coupled with my already dehydrated state it was extremely dangerous.

Think I'll be eating carbs anytime soon? NOOOOOOO!!!!

I was lucky this time. With my heart beating that fast and non existent BP, I could have had a heart attack. I had this surgery to not be faced with that prospect. SOOOOOOO, I WILL NOT TAKE THINGS FOR GRANTED!!!

I'm hunky dory now. It's like it didn't even happen. But I won't forget!!!


Here is some of the info I researched:

What is Dumping Syndrome?
Also called "rapid gastric emptying", dumping syndrome occurs when the lower section of the small intestine (jejunum) fills up too quickly with undigested food from the stomach, causing unpleasant digestive effects. Dumping syndrome can also be triggered in gastric surgery patients by consumption of simple carbohydrates (sugar, or some starches) or carbs with a high glycemic index.

Types of Dumping Syndrome
There are two variants of rapid gastric emptying: early and late dumping. "Early" dumping typically starts during or immediately after a meal. Early dumping symptoms include: abdominal cramps, bloating, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and shortness of breath. By contrast, late dumping typically occurs 1-3 hours after eating. Symptoms of late dumping include: weakness, dizziness and fatigue.

What Causes Dumping Syndrome?
Bariatric surgery is the main cause of dumping syndrome because it changes the anatomy and normal digestive functioning of the stomach and also (in the case of gastric bypass) the small intestine. It may also reduce the amount of digestive juices from the stomach and pancreas. Another, much rarer cause of dumping is Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Treatment For Dumping Syndrome
Patients who suffer from rapid gastric emptying need to change their eating habits and consume several small meals a day - preferably including foods that are low in carbs, especially refined sugars. In addition, they should not drink liquids with their food. Lastly, patients should ensure that all food is chewed thoroughly.

Dumping Syndrome - Bad Eating Indicator After Bariatric Surgery
Dumping syndrome is not a big health risk. Rather, it's an indicator to gastric surgery patients that they are (1) eating too much, or too fast; (2) eating too many sugary carbs. In practice, most bariatric patients do not experience more than 2-3 episodes of serious dumping.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Well done, Diane! Thank you so much for sharing your story as well as doing the valuable research on dumping. This is going to be a great tool for all of the newbies. I know that it helped me to understand it a bit more! I think that the majority of us turn to comfort foods when we aren't feeling's part of what kept us obese. We never felt good being that heavy, therefore, we were constantly eating our special foods. For me, it's saltine crackers. I still turn to the darned a matter of fact, when I had my last reconstructive surgery, I left specific instructions with the nurse to have my crackers ready for me when I woke up in recovery! Pathetic, but true...