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Oesophageal Patients Association
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Total Gastrectomy advice needed re dumping syndrome etc

Hi

I have recently had a total Gastrectomy and I am now at home recovering, I have found myself with a few problems that I am hoping some of you may have some advice about. After eating I get hot and sweaty and have cramping, constantly think I need to go to the loo and feel so bloated that I think I am going to pop. This seems to exhaust me and I end up laying down between visits to the loo to relieve wind and such. I am not getting loose stools as per se and it doesn’t seem to just rush out of me like I thought dumping syndrome would be. I assume that I have some sort of dumping and as I am keen to spend less time lying down and more time upright I was hoping you guys might have tips, foods to avoid, medications to suggest in fact anything which may help, especially to reduce the cramping. I did get out of hospital in record time (8 days after surgery) but have no intention of rushing things; I just do not wish to feel like I am not going forward with my recovery, this is stopping me getting up and moving around which I am sure is much better for me than constantly lying down.

Thanks

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Because you digestive system is a lot shorter now, the food goes through in a far less digested state, and reached your intestines without spending time in the stomach where food is broken down with stomach acid and so on. Liquids get drawn into your system from other parts of the body.

Your system gets drawn into generating insulin to cope with all the extra undigested sweetness and an hour or so later you would start to feel clammy, dizzy etc.

So eating little and often, concentrating on non sweetened food is probably the answer.

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I am 3 months post IL Op. I used to get heavy sweating, palpitations breathing however no diarrhoea. Had a handful episodes of loose stools probably on overeating or digestive system struggling. But over the period it has gotten better.

I am ok for milk all day except mornings. Get stomach stretch pain after meals.

Most people experience dumping syndrome but not in a textbook manner, variations will be there.

Hang in there, it will get better.

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I think dumping is one horrible side affect but not everyone suffers and not to same degree or everytime. Tony is improving but we know he's in trouble with one too many mouthfuls and definitely too much sugar!! Big learning curve, also after 7 months the sweating and Tachycardia has improved as well. Gets better give it time x

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Hi I couldn’t have full fat milk yoguart or ice cream or the replacement drinks,like they wanted me to have. Sweet things limit to small amount or cut out.Also don’t eat and drink together sip water if you need to have something. Eat little and often by the clock if like me you have no hunger feeling. I carry dextrose tablets from boots or supermarkets if i feel grotty (as light headed, sweaty ) i take 1 or 2.

I got cramps round the jej area if you have had a feeding tube in you will know what I mean. It does get better. It is early days and it is a bit of a rollercoaster learning curve what we can tolerate.

Good Luck

Debbie

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Hi.. Welcome to the Revised Plumbing Club! I'm seven years post op and so you would think I'd have learnt by now how to manage my system.... nope, still get it wrong sometimes. Usually after ignoring the wife's advice! One useful thing I have learned - when the hot flush/clammy/dizzy feelings start (exactly as Alan says, about an hour after excessive gluttony - three shortbread biscuits, too much jam on the one slice of toast etc.) - then a glass of Coca Cola is an almost instant fix, absorbs the extra insulin and rebalances the system. I do carry glucose tablets, but if available then Coke is far quicker. Life does get better - just never forget the mantra "Little and Often" (and then rest!) Best wishes.....

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I love the bit about your wife !! You men never listen ! It’s about time you realised we know best lol !! ..... reassuring to hear 7 years post op especially when we’ve had a crap week ...( literally) !!x

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It will take all of a whole year to recover from the surgical insult. During that time your innards will be highly volatile and you won't make a lot of progress in working out a new regime and sorting what foods you can tolerate. Thereafter things will start to stabilize and improve markedly.

Until then don't let it get to you. Go with the flow and concentrate on getting your strength

back. Take care to eat as balanced a diet as possible to avoid malnutrition, a multi-vitamin supplement is a good idea. If you have the runs avoid getting dehydrated. Your GP is derelict if he doesn't test your B12 levels every 3 months and I think you should have a bone density scan to set a baseline marker. Calcium loss is a side effect of carcinoma and can be exacerbated by PPI medication as well as reduced intestinal absorption.

The less you move after eating the fewer dumping incidents you will have, always provided you haven't over-eaten --- your new capacity is about one cupful. It often helps to sit whilst eating leaning back at about 45 degrees, this reduces the pressure on the Pyloric Sphincter the malfunction of which is the cause of dumping.

Learn to recognise the tenuous feeling of ill ease which signals that an hypo is on-setting after dumping -- in the early days this may be very soon after eating but later is usually after about one hour. Take sugar immediately and don't drop your blood sugar levels any further by taking ANY sort of exercise until the incident has passed.....misjudging this can have very serious consequences in deed.

Make sure that you have organised your sleeping arrangements in order to avoid the danger of reflux and aspiration pneumonia.

You can get answers to just about any question on this site.

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PS

Sorry --- the above presumes you had a partial gastrectomy and pull-up in the course of an oesophagectomy. If however you had a full gastrectomy as a result of gastric cancer then my comments about the pyloric sphincter are of course wrong; unless you were given a sleeve procedure.

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Hi

Can one have all the symptoms of a dumping syndrome, like sweats, pain and cramping, yet suffer from Constipation at the same time?My wife had to run all the time to the toilet after eating, but now she suffers Constipation

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