Dumping Syndrome after Gastric Bypass Surgery is NO Fun!

I thought I had escaped any severe Dumping Syndrome since having my Gastric Bypass Surgery a year ago until last night. Yup after a whole year I thought I was free and clear, but I was wrong.

Since my surgery I have experienced mild dumping with some Nausea, Sweats, Heart Racing and Cramping from time to time but never anything I could not handle or that made me feel like I was gonna die and wanna go to the ER feeling. I had read a lot about Dumping Syndrome prior to my surgery and I would read a lot of people saying it can get so bad you feel like you are dying. It is scary to read that and to never know if that was gonna happen to you at anytime is even scarier.

Well I had gone a whole year proud to have never experienced Dumping Syndrome to that extent, but never say never. Last night ended my no severe Dumping streak and let me tell you it was NO Fun!!

Before I get into what happened to me let me fill you in on what Dumping Syndrome is if you are unfamiliar. When you hear the turn “Dumping” your mind wants to immediately think it just means your are gonna crap like crazy – I know that is what I thought when I first read about it, but it is much more than that.

What is Dumping Syndrome?

Dumping Syndrome is a NO Fun experience that occurs with patients like us who have had Gastric Bypass Surgery. It gets us if food passes through the small intestine too fast. It can also be caused by eating certain foods like sweets, certain carbohydrate sources (such as simple carbohydrates like sugar and some starches). It can also happen as a result of eating too much at one time.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of Dumping Syndrome:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Heart Racing
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Flush feeling
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness

Any or all of these symptoms can occur anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours after a meal (ahhhh I know crazy right?).

Dumping Graphic

Your Dumping can be mild to severe – for me personally I had experienced mild dumping over the past year after eating certain foods – my main one is carbs. If I eat too many carbs at one time I get so tired immediately after and almost feel drunk and may even slur my words. If I am sitting on the couch I will most likely go into what I call a “Carb Coma” – a crazy name for a “Nap”. For me this is not a bad thing because it gets me to avoid too many carbs and carbs have always been my downfall vs. most who love to eat their sugary sweets.

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I have also experience mild Dumping with sweets as well. I remember one night I was working on a tutorial for my party business where I was making cakepops and dipping them into chocolate – not realizing I was licking the chocolate off my fingers from time to time. Well maybe about an hour later I felt it come on with the sweats, shaking and feeling like complete crap.

I have also experienced mild Dumping when I eat too much. I will get the sweats, heart racing, fullness and stomach cramps .

All of my Dumping episodes up to last night have been in my eyes “Mild”. I had never felt like I was gonna die or had so much pain I wanted to call an ambulance or anything. I would just sit, lay down, take a few Papaya Enzymes and the symptoms would subside.

My severe Dumping Syndrome episode:Gastric Bypass Dumping

I was so hopeful that I would be the one to say I had never experienced severe Dumping, but unfortunately I cannot. Last night was the first time since my surgery I felt that I wanna die feeling and was so close to telling my hubby to warm up the truck and take me to the ER. It was HORRIBLE, but really my own fault.

It was a lazy Sunday for me and I did not do much and even took a nice nap in the afternoon, love days like that. I made hubby and the kids dinner, but was not very hungry and just picked from theirs. I had a 1/2 slice Pizza and a piece of Pizza Crust – no biggy (that was probably around 7ish).

Then around 9:30 – 10:00 I was feeling a little hungry but too lazy to make a meal. So I started by picking at some Potato Chips dipped in Onion Dip. Then a little while later I ate an Apple. Then I had a few more chips in dip. Then still feeling hungry (which I was not physically hungry it was more I wanted a snack while I watched TV) I started to eat some trail mix – this contained peanuts, raisins, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and almonds – oh and I also added in a handful of sugar coated pecans my sister made. I ate a bunch of that and then had a bite of a Boston Cream Cupcake my hubby was having to try. I was getting tired and my belly started to hurt after that so I decided to go up to bed, but before I did I drank a cup of my crystal light iced tea – so stupid!!! I grabbed a couple Papaya Enzymes and off to bed I went.

I laid down in bed turned on the TV and the cramps in my belly started to get intense. I then felt the hot flashes and my belly feeling so hard and full it felt like it was gonna explode. The cramping was crazy and came in waves like I was having birth contractions and an alien was gonna climb out. I went into the bathroom as I walked doubled over feeling so bad. I did not have diarrhea, but was able to make a poop (sorry) and thought that would help – NOPE it did not. I felt the nausea kick in and thought do I get off the pot to puke or just sit there and puke on the floor if I had to – oh the decisions.

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My daughter heard me moaning in pain and came to my rescue – she got me a bowl to puke in just in case. My hubby was on the phone with my mother in law trying to help her with a Facebook problem so as much as I wanted to scream for him to come rescue me and take me to the ER cause it felt like my insides were tearing apart I did not. I knew what it was and knew I had to endure the pain and at some point it would go away, but when???

My daughter would keep asking me if I was OK, but it hurt too much to even respond. She did make me laugh in the middle of it all when she said – looks like you have a blog post to do tomorrow, lmao. I went back and forth doubled over from my bed to the bathroom a few times. I sat up in bed with a bowl in front of me tasting puke and acid in my mouth – I had tied my hair back waiting, but thank god I never puked (I hate puking). The stomach cramps were so intense and I can hear the noises grumbling loud and clear – there was a war going on in my tummy and it was not pretty.

I then asked my daughter to go get me the Gas X thinking maybe it would help subside all that fighting in my belly. She quickly ran and got them for me and I have to tell you it was so hard to chew it up cause I felt so bad and did not want another thing in my stomach. It took me a few seconds to swallow it, but I got one down without hurling. I slowly started to feel things calm down and decided to chew up another Gas X – which again was not easy, but I did it.

About 10 minutes later my hubby came up to check on me and sent my daughter (aka nurse) to bed. My stomach pains started to calm down a bit. My hubby I swear is like medicine magic and always helps me feel better. Just having him there with me made me feel a bit better and I was able to finally lay down. Not long after I went into dream land.

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This whole episode lasted a little over an hour and was like I said NO Fun at all. No way do I want to go through that again, but as I stated above it was my own fault. I think I ate too much between the chips, the sugars from the apple and raisins, sugar coated pecans did not help and the drinking too soon – all added up to disaster!!! Ok stomach pouch – my lesson was learned, it truly was.

So how do you avoid what I went though? Duh, don’t do what I did – lol

Sometimes Dumping Syndrome cannot be avoided – your body can react this way at any time to certain foods you may eat. It can happen right after Gastric Bypass Surgery or years out. Just comes with the territory I guess and if you know what is happening like I did there is no need to panic and call that ambulance or go to the ER – just know it WILL eventually go away. Now I am not giving you medical advice for I am not a doctor and if you personally feel something is so painful you need to go get help, then do it (had to say it lawyers make you do that).

I will give you this tip though – Keep Chewable Gas X in the house – I swear this is what helped me. Will it help you in an episode – I don’t know for sure I can only speak from my own experience.

My surgeon and nutritionists did warn me about Dumping Syndrome and told me at some point I would experience it – I did not believe them and thought I would be the small percentage that escaped the horror, again I was wrong. BUT I was prepared in knowing all the signs so I did not panic too much.

If you already have a journal or are considering to start one, these are the best journal prompts to inspire you.

Chime in below and leave me a comment letting me know your experience with Dumping and how you handled it – I would love to hear from you!!!

7 Replies to “Dumping Syndrome after Gastric Bypass Surgery is NO Fun!”

  1. That happen with me with kale. I was in such pain. My body tempurture went up a hundred degreeds. My mom click called my brother to come over and babysit my daughter cuz she was ready to take me in to the er. Then it finely passed and I tutted. Lol. My body went cold and I fell asleep. I never wanted to fell that way ever

  2. Thank you so much for your honesty and humor! I have had a couple of episodes of this after eating peanuts and cool whip when I have gotten Hangry or head hangry! It scared me and made me angry at myself to boot!! It is a lesson learned and I will be much more careful!!

    1. I’ve been dealing with this along with I think a slowly failing gallbladder it’s horrible sometimes incapacitated part of the day I get all those symptoms and more every time I eat Beano helps me to some degree never had gastric bypass but was put on PPIs 4 months ago downhill since wish this hell would end for all of us that suffer with digestive issues !

  3. I get different troubles. When I start to sneeze after eating, I know I have eaten too much. Then it will go into needing to empty the food from my stomach, via vomiting. I feel awful, I hate it. I have been post-op for 15 years. It never gets easier. Any combination of food can trigger this. One day it does, one day it doesn’t. I am sorry that it never will get better.

  4. My tears are pouring as I read your very well written story …finally I swear no one understood and your words are exactly what I go through when I dump! I’m 8 years out I try not to but it happens and seems like more often now I’m worried maybe some GI issues!

  5. Last night I ate baked seasoned chicken, creamed veggies, and cabbage. All healthy but started the dumping ten minutes into eating. The pain in my side, under my ribs, all in my intestines has been so unbearable. At one point I started to go to the Er. I ate gas x like candy and drank water. Nothing helped. It’s morning and I’m still in pain not quite as bad but I can’t hardly move. The pain is just under my rib on my left side. I feel like someone has been punching me. I thought I was dyeing. This is a lot of pain. Coming from a woman whose had open heart, shoulder, and knee surgery without using pain meds after surgery. I’m not sure what triggered it. Unless it was the Rice Krispies treat I tried 4 hours earlier. I don’t want to go through that ever again.

  6. I had my (roux en y) gastric bypass surgery 9 years ago. I experience severe dumping syndrome every single day no matter what or how much (or how little) I eat.
    Also chronic diarrhea and GERD. I see a gastroenterologist regularly who prescribes meds to somewhat help some symptoms but…

    Sometimes this happens. Sometimes maybe skinny isn’t worth it.

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