Sometimes the nasty after-effects from meals might be improved with eating food from the right place on the glycemic index. There have been some questions about 'dumping' and insulin, and I thought I would try and explain things a bit. But I am not qualified in this area, so take what I write in that spirit! And please contribute your own experiences.
With a shorter digestive system (ie after an oesophagectomy / gastrectomy) and a cut vagus nerve (that controls the speed of digestive process), food rushes through the digestion system more rapidly, and will tend to trigger a 'spike' of insulin, because the body wrongly thinks it has to compensate for all the sugar that is being absorbed. This insulin spike leads to feelings of clamminess, sweatiness and so on. It is possible for frequent spikes of insulin eventually to contribute to diabetes.
We probably never knew that food had such a thing as a glycemic index! The glycemic index (GI) sets out to measure measure the effects of carbohydrates in food on our body's sugar levels. It estimates how effectively each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fibre) in any particular food raises a person's blood glucose level following consumption of the food, and gives different foods a score.
So glucose rates as 100 (which is why it is so effective for rapidly restoring an unbalanced insulin:sugar ratio). Any GI score of above 70 counts as high. 56 - 69 is medium; 55 or below counts as low. So eating low GI food means that the carbohydrates in this food will not convert into sugar so rapidly. Those with diabetes may understand this already, but with the altered digestion system that so many of us have, it becomes important for us as well.
Cornflakes, lucozade, crumpets, tapioca, brown rice, white rice and jelly babies are examples of high GI food. All Bran, pitta bread, basmati rice apple juice and soya beans are examples of low GI food.
Just to make things a bit more complicated, glycemic 'load' is used sometimes. Whereas GI tells you how rapidly the carbohydrates turn into sugar, the glycemic load (GL) attempts to show how much of the carbohydrates in question are in each serving of food. Quantity rather than quality. A GL of 20 or more counts as high, 11 - 19 as medium, and 10 or lower counts as low. So carbohydrates in watermelon are high GI, but as there is not much of them, the glycemic load is low. Foods that have a low GL almost always have a low GI. Foods with an intermediate or high GL range from very low to very high GI. So looking for the GL score can be just as useful, if not more effective at times.
I am putting in links to various websits that give lists of foods and their scores, but I do not know how reliable they are:
Do not forget that people often refer to this glycemic index for weight watching and other purposes that may not trouble you. So 'good' and 'bad' for their purposes may not be relevant for you!
We have suggested eating or drinking something sweet before meals to even out the insulin reaction, and taking glucose to re-balance the insulin spike during dumping syndrome attacks. Eating low glycemic index food might make this less necessary for some people, but the principle is the same.
I know that we have enough trouble in the first place finding food that we can cope with, but low GI and GL food may be able to help at times.