For those of you that have never had weight loss surgery, I’m sure you have no idea what Dumping Syndrome is. I know, because I didn’t understand it either even though my husband had weight loss surgery 4 years before I did. He tried to explain it to me, but I had no idea what it felt like until it happened to me. Fortunately, it’s only happened twice in the last nine months since surgery. But let me tell ya – it’s NO fun! So what is this weird sounding syndrome?
Dumping syndrome is when ingested foods bypasses the stomach too rapidly and passes into the small intestine, mostly undigested. The body goes into a form of “shock” in order to get everything back to normal. The symptoms include a fast heartbeat, diarrhea, bloating, dizziness, weakness, sweating, nausea and then fatigue once the body resumes back to “normal.” The symptoms can occur anywhere between 15 minutes up to 3 hours after a meal, usually one high in sugar or simple carbohydrates. Basically, the pancreas “dumps” an excessive amount of insulin into the bloodstream setting off a domino effect of reactions within the body. Even though I am completely aware of what is going on within my body, it is still a very unpleasant sensation. to say the least.
The culprit for my dumping experience yesterday was peanut butter and apple slices. Apparently I ate too much. I usually measure the amount of peanut butter that I eat, but for some reason I didn’t do it yesterday. I have eaten reduced-fat peanut butter and apple slices many times in the last few months, but only in very small amounts. Yesterday, I estimate that I must have eaten around 3-4 tablespoons of the stuff. Reduced fat peanut butter has 8 grams of sugar per a 2 Tablespoon serving. Add in the sugar from 1/3 of the apple that I ate and I ended up consuming around 25 grams of sugar from that one “snack.” I hadn’t eaten much food all day beforehand. All it took was one time of relaxing my ever-vigilant watching over my post-sleeve diet to make me realize that my body will take over if I screw up. That is the most disconcerting feeling ever. My body seemingly had a mind of its own yesterday. It was akin to feeling really drunk, but without the benefit of feeling good and relaxed.
The gravity of my new altered stomach has actually been quite depressing since this most recent experience. I will never be able to eat like I did before surgery. It’s a blessing, on one hand, but then again it’s not. The alternative was to stay a prisoner in my former morbidly obese body and slowly die from diabetes and heart failure or I could forever alter my body in such a way that if I eat the wrong foods I will get sick. I will admit, however, that after having had the surgery, most of the food cravings went away. It took a few weeks after surgery for them to completely dissipate, but for the most part, they are gone. I no longer salivate over the mention of pizza or steak or macaroni and cheese. My taste buds changed as well.Eating food is no longer pleasurable like it was for so many years. Nowadays, I have to remember to eat about every 4 hours and continually drink sugar-free non-carbonated drinks in between meals, take a crap-load of vitamins everyday and aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days. So, the question you might be wondering at this point: was having the surgery worth it? The answer is a resounding Yes! I feel like I am slowly, but surely getting my life back. I have lost about half of my excess weight and still have a way to go, but I am very confident that I will be able to reach my weight loss goal by utilizing the most expensive weight loss tool out there – weight loss surgery.
Until next time……..Namaste” and God Bless!