Oesophageal Patients Association
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Oesophagectomy

Hi everyone

I'm new here and just happened to come across the OPE and have read about some relevant symptoms that I have had since my operation 1yr ago.

I have had many problems to include early and late Dumping Syndrome with associated Hypoglycemic episodes i.e. BM readings as low as 2.6. followed by severe bowel cramps diarrhea and incapacitating weakness.

I discovered by chance and by omitting certain foods from my diet found Lactose Fructrose and sucrose to be the main causes and now use Lacto Free milk cream and yogurts but seem to be ok with butter and cheese although I have spasmodic episodes of diarrhea from time to time. I stear clear from fruit juices and high sugar drinks having had two nasty Hypo's and only drink sugar free carbonated drinks and boiled sweets.

My latest bout of severe diarrhea included painful abdominal cramps, very active bowel sounds belching and bouts of gaseous fermentation like burping of which is still quite active ! I have been tested negative for C difficile, E-coli and salmonella.

I am on 15mg Lansoprasole x twice daily and have now been added 150mg Ranitadine x twice daily.

I have also started taking Acidophilus Extra providing 10 billion Live Bacteria and Aloe Vera 6000mg x 3 a day to try and stabilise my gut flora.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Many thanks.

4 Replies
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1 Year in is still early days (sadly) I am now over two years post op and now starting to feel normal again with few episodes of dumping, early or late. I suffered from debilitating "Reactive Hypoglycemia". I am a vegetarian (I was before surgery). I am not sure if that helps or hinders.

A big help for me (life changing) was seeing a Gastroenterologist (James Dunne) @ London Bridge. He prescribed my Acarbose to help with the hypo's, which are now completely under control. He also advised on several changes to my diet including telling me to stop taking "pro-biotics". These changes made a very quick and positive change to my dumping syndrome.

What is important to understand is that every single thing we ingest can cause dumping and does cause cravings or a reaction of some sort and this includes drinking water. With that in mind, a food diary can be a great aid to controlling what is happening. For me I worked out the timings:

Early, was 15 minutes after any intake.

Late, was 90 minutes after any intake.

With that in mind in was easy to then identify what food or drink was causing the dumping or the hypo's. For me it was all rather simple. Sugar was by far the biggest problem. Cakes, biscuits, sweets, drinks. I now try and avoid it completely.

I monitor my blood glucose levels at regular intervals every day. That is a tremendous help at highlighting the patterns and trends that we are developing allowing us to change diet etc.

It all sounds rather daunting!! It is not, it does take a little discipline but is now second nature to me.

It is so easy to fool ourselves about what we have eaten. "I only had a biscuit" actually means I had three or four biscuits ;^) Recognising that, can make a massive difference to the outcome.

Good luck.

Bruce

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Thank you very much for your speedy reply and sharing with me your medical history.

I seem to react to certain foods but manage or get away from reactions at other times, however it seems like you say any thing ingested can trigger an episode and as I said previously my main problems are Lactose, Fructrose and Sucrose but like you say Early Days.

Many thanks

Jonpenderyn.

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The noisy gurgling sounds in the intestines may be borborygmi which is a medical term for when there is too much gas in the system. I think you will probably need some proper advice about this. I think that the bio yoghurts / Actimel sort of thing can help, and indeed probiotics. I am not sure that carbonated drink is good for it? Try leaving them out for a while to see if this helps, or hinders. It may also be the case that you might need a specialist course of antibiotics under the guidance of a gastroenterologist who has experience of treating people who have had oesophagectomies (ask the specialist nurse).

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coo. Haven't seen "borborygmi" since an Anthony Burgess novel...can't remember which one!

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