Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dumping Syndrome: What Is It, Who Has It, And What It Means To Weight Loss

Doctors are starting to be shocked to find that sleevers, like their WLS cousins the gastric by-passers, do show signs of something called "dumping syndrome". The essentials of this "condition" are as such: you eat something you're not supposed to and your body rejects it, causing you to get sick with symptoms such as a rise/drop in blood pressure, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.

So what causes dumping syndrome? It occurs primarily in weight loss surgery patients that have had parts of their stomachs removed. This means that patients that have undergone the gastric sleeve, the gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y), or the duodenal switch can have dumping syndrome. It was earlier thought that sugar was the culprit, but recent studies are now showing that it can be caused by just about anything - including dairy, bread/pasta, high fat foods, etc - that your body does not like.

My own experience with dumping has been sporadic, to say the least. I have had dumping after eating everything from fish to ice cream. The worst I ever had was after I drank a full-sugar root beer. But the sporaticness (is that a word??) of my dumping got me to thinking and wondering - why is it that somethings make me dump and not others?

Case in point: one night the hubbs and I went to a seafood restaurant for dinner before visiting a haunted house. I had chowder and hush puppies. Less than an hour later, I felt like I had to pass out. I ran to the bathroom and experienced diarrhea and vomiting. As far as I knew, I'd had no sugar (I would later find out that was wrong, but that's coming).

Another case: while visiting a local renaissance faire, I had a drink that was a frozen cappuccino with whipped cream. LOADED with sugar, right? And after this, I was expecting a dump, but it never happened!

So WHY then, would a seemingly savory meal make one dump but not an indulgent sweet dessert? Why will some lunch meats make me sick, but not honey?

I started reading labels more thoroughly, and in doing so, I think I may have found the culprits.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
This ingredient is in many things - even things that one might not suspect such as canned soups and baked goods. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, and other sauces can also contain large amounts of it.

Refined White Sugar
This ingredient shows up in some of the strangest places - did you know that many lunch meats including deli ham and turkey often contain sugar? Other surprising carriers: tortillas, canned vegetables, snack crackers (!!!).

Canola/Peanut/Vegetable/Safflower oils
This surprised me! But it's true. These oils are the most often used in deep frying at restaurants. I also have similar reactions on a smaller scale to cooking sprays (made with canola/vegetable oils). Ironically, butter, olive oil, and coconut oil do NOT elicit this reaction from me.

Some surprising things I've discovered that do NOT cause dumping (at least not in me).

Honey, Raw Sugar (in small amounts), agave nectar, and molasses.

An interesting thought to leave you with:
WLS surgery patients that turn to an all-natural diet containing no refined grains or sugars and sticking with whole, natural foods tend to not experience dumping syndrome. What does that tell you? The same goes for people with type 2 diabetes, blood pressure issues, and heart health issues - with these people their symptoms are eliminated at an alarming rate, just by changing how you eat. Turning to these diets and eliminating chemicals and processed foods is better for you, all around.

Let's face it, 100 years ago, America didn't face the health epidemic we're in now. Why do you think that is? We didn't have the processes to take real food and turn it into God knows what. If we took the diets from the past and combined them with the medical knowledge we have today, there would be NO EPIDEMIC.

Start by reading your labels. Eliminate anything you can't pronounce. Give it a try for a month and see how you feel! In fact, I'm going to issue a challenge!

Beginning Monday January 7, 2013, I challenge all my readers to do exactly that. I challenge you to all change to a whole-food mindset for one month, and blog about it. Each Monday until February 11 I will have a link-up for you to participate in to share your struggles, successes, recipes, and things you've learned about food and yourself. Come join me on this journey! Hope to see you all then!


Anonymous said...

Jen, I did not go the WLS route but I designed my own diet that allowed me to lose 100+ lbs in a few months before I became pregnant and I too experienced the dumping syndrome. Mine generally showed up sporadically as well and could get quite severe with different types of foods. It was exactly as you describe itwith happening after eating things I wouldn't have thought would cause it and didn't happen as ofterln after I thought it probably would! The stomach cramps were horrific though!

Aimee said...

Sis, it's not just the WLS individuals that need to be mindful of sugars, it's everyone. You have just scratched he surface of why there are so many people suffering from weight gain and an astronomical amount of health problems. Keep up posts like this sissy, and you'll be saving lives like crazy. I'll definitely be listening, or rather....reading. ;-)

Unknown said...

I LOVE this post. I am a firm believer in a diet based on whole unprocessed foods. It can be hard to adjust to cooking and eating out that way but it is so worth it.

Kristiina @ Typical House Cat