Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you have signs and symptoms of dumping syndrome, you're likely to first see your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in treating digestive system disorders (gastroenterologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along to help you remember everything.
- Bring your medical records about past treatment, especially about any gastric surgery and specifically what type of operation was performed.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Questions to ask your doctor
Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. List your questions from most important to least important. For dumping syndrome, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What is the best course of action?
- Should I see a dietitian?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Should I see a specialist?
- How can I find out the costs of this treatment and if my insurance company will cover it?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask questions anytime that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- Have you had an operation on your stomach, and if so, what kind?
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How long after eating do your symptoms begin?
- Have you noticed that certain foods make your symptoms worse?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Rapid gastric emptying. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/rapidgastricemptying/. Accessed April 27, 2012.
- Tack J, et al. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of postoperative dumping syndrome. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2009;6:583.
- Townsend CM Jr, et al. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-1-4377-1560-6&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1560-6..00049-4--s0425. Accessed April 25, 2012.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Dietary Guidelines for Managing Dumping Syndrome. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2008.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-1-4377-1604-7&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1604-7..00142-1--s0130&sid=1301851419&SEQNO=1&bookft=true&bookftset=1&bbSearchType=single&DOCID=2586). Accessed April 26, 2012.
- Hejazi RA, et al. Dumping syndrome: Establishing criteria for diagnosis and identifying new etiologies. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 2010;55:117.
- Mine S et al. Large-scale investigation into dumping syndrome after gastrectomy for gastric cancer. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2010; 211: 628.
- Collazo-Clavell ML (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 1, 2012.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. May 8, 2012.