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5 tips to avoid dumping syndrome

dumping syndrome
Blog

/ by Erin Peters

Written by Erin Peters, a dietetic intern at UK Markey Cancer Center.

Your stomach is an incredible part of the body. It serves as a storage site for food and liquids until they are released into the small intestine. In some cases, surgery may be an option for treatment for different types of cancer. It is possible that you may have a surgical procedure that may directly affect the digestive system (esophagectomy, gastrectomy, Whipple, etc). After these types of procedures, some patients may experience a variety changes within their gastrointestinal tract - one common problem is known as “dumping syndrome”. 

Dumping syndrome occurs when food and/or liquid enters the small intestine too quickly. This happens because the stomach can no longer properly regulate the release of its contents. As a result, the food and/or liquids you just ate can be ‘dumped’ too quickly into the small intestine, causing abdominal pain, cramping, and/or diarrhea. Luckily, there are many ways to help prevent this!

Here are 5 tips to avoid dumping syndrome: 

  1. Limit sugar intake, especially sugar-sweetened beverages
  2. Drink fluids between meals instead of with meals 
  3. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly 
  4. Eat small amounts more frequently; avoid eating too much too quickly 
  5. Incorporate high-fiber foods (whole wheat breads and pasta, fruits, and vegetables)

For additional information regarding diet and nutrition for cancer patients at UK Markey Cancer Center, please call 859-323-2798 and ask to speak with a registered dietitian.