Is this 'dumping' ?

Six weeks after a partial gastectomy - 5 cm of oesophagus, 1/3 stomach removed and 10cm of jejunum (bowel) in its place I am starting to get bad stomach pains after eating. I find a lot of wind in my stomach 5 minutes after eating. Four times I have not felt well with sweating and twice with serious pain which is enormous amounts of wind in my stomach which is blown up that takes me an hour to clear "from both ends".

Is this dumping? I am not opening my bowels though which i think is the normal dumping effect. I am not getting reflux.

And it seems to be getting worse. Its better in the morning and the wind builds up during the day. Just where is all this gas coming from? I burp 6 or 8 times one after the other and yet I have no sphincter valve at the bottom of the oesophagus and would expect there to be no pressure in my remaining stomach.

6 Replies

oldestnewest
  • I had a full Gastrectomy so my symptoms may be diffeent to yours. Typically "early" Dumping shows itself by feeling generally unwell very soon after eating. I get sweaty, cold, feel sick & lack energy. I feel the need to lie down for around half an hour until the feeling passes. I have not experienced "late" Dumping so cannot comment on that. Would suggest a chat with your Specialist Nurse & your Dietician? Avoiding sugary foods has really helped mine, as well as eating small quantities. Hope you get it sorted. It is a very uncomfortable feeling.

  • the symptoms you describe are all components of what is referred to as "dumping syndrome".

    Sadly the condition is very poorly understood and often only assoicated with the explosive diarrhea that many sufferers experience.

    Dumping syndrome is caused by undigested food entering the intestine too early. Inevitably those who have had gastric surgery and had valves removed are prone to the side effects of this. If the vagus nerve had to be severed during your surgery this can also contribute to the syndrome.

    Essentially the body wants to get rid of the undigested food and triggers a number of mechnaisms including stomach pains, production of insulin and flooding the gut with water to assist the transit.

    The alteration in blood glucose levels from the over production of insulin are often responsible for the sweating and feelings of needing to lie down.

    As you are probably realising from reading this, dumping syndrome is complex and therefore can be different for each patient. I'd suggest that you monitor your symptoms carefully and discuss them with your medical support team.

    The main remedy is to slow the transit of food through your new system.

    Eat little and often

    Don't eat and drink together.

    Don't move around either during or after eating as we now have a gravity sensitive system.

    Try to avoid refined sugars and high glycemic load foods as they can encourange over production of insulin.

    Many of us find that using loperimide (imodium) in liquid form prior to meals can assist with the slowing of transit. I beleive that this has to be prescribed.

    I'm sure that others will add to this.

    I wish you well.

    Let us know how you get on.

    regards Larry

  • Now you know what babies feel like with colic!

    What Larry says is quite right. Keep a careful diary of what you have, how much, when you eat and what else you do - and the effects.

    Also keep an eye out for constipation - it will feel like you can never have a happy medium again at times - either diarrhoea or constipation and nothing in between! But most people seem to go through this process.

    There is a lot of energy taken up with digestion. Before this operation we take it for granted that our systems cope with it. It is your new system learning how to manage itself!

    There is also a lot in what Larry says about low glycemic index foods. You will probably have a lot more trouble with cornflakes because of the high spike in sugar that they deliver to your system, than porridge, which naturally passes through the system slower because the digestion processes take longer for the sugar content to build up.

    My son went to a party last week where a young man did his party piece by downing a pint of beer whilst standing on his head. Don't try this! He could do it because his vagus nerve operated the motility of his digestion system regardless of gravity. Yours is now different. Standing up will speed things up even quicker!

  • All above written is correct.

    I too suffer from high amounts of gas and stomach pains since my operation.

    Note that your operation was only six weeks ago, and your body is going to take a while to adjust. A few food items which have helped with the wind are as follows...

    1. Yeo Valley natural pro-biotic yoghurt, 3 spoons diluted in half a mug of water. This seems to relax my digestive system releasing any gas built up over night. (I take this whenever the gas builds up and last thing at night).

    2. Slightly burnt dry toast in the morning (half a slice). The charcoal seems to settle/absorb gas.

    3. If you have a hot drink, I place the mug against my stomach, the warmth helps move trapped wind.

    Regards,

    Jay

  • All of the above is absolutely correct. I can tell you that with time all of this will settle down I had my operation 11 years ago, whereas in the beginning I suffered a lot from dumping syndrome and had to learn all of the above.

    little and often is the magic word

    All the best

    Monty

  • Now nearly 3 months after the op and indeed things are getting better. No more bad pains but get hot and then fill slightly ill, so hope I'm now on the mend. I'm also fully active now but the scar from one side to the other lets me know later in the day. Early days yet.

You may also like...