Feb 07, 2011 - 11:03 pm
It is almost 6 months since 70% of my esophagus, 10% of my stomach (along with vagotomy) was removed for Stage Ia gastroesophageal junctional cancer. I have typical hyatal hernia symptoms (bloating, belching) which I can live with. What I find most difficult is the totally unpredictable symptoms which I attribute to dumping syndrome. I get this about once a week (sometimes more) and it starts with a severe headache in the left TMJ. The headache progresses to above and below the left eye socket and then the left side of my head. This is accompanied by abdominal bloating and epigastric discomfort. In addition, I feel just awful. If the cascade of symptoms progresses (which is not frequent), I get diaphoretic (sweaty), and my heart feels like it will jump out of my chest (even though the rate and rhythm are normal) If I get only the headache, my symptoms will last a few hours. If I get the full cascade of symptoms, I feel awful for many hours. I only get symptoms with dinner (no other meal) and if I eat the very same food the next day as leftovers, I do not get sick. (In addition, I can occasionally eat leftovers of a meal that I had no trouble with, and get sick.) Because these symptoms are so unpredictable, I am wary to have friends over to dinner or go out to dinner. I have tried the small multiple feeding regimen and have limited my liquids with dinner. Though web sites on dumping syndrome say to limit carbohydrates, I find that bread settles my stomach. The sites also suggest limiting milk and milk products, but I don't get symptoms when I have milk, cheese and yogurt (which are staples of my diet.) My surgeon and my gastroenterologist say they "have never heard of these symptoms," even though they are listed in articles and texts which describe dumping syndrome. My surgeon, in particular, seems disinterested and dismissive. Please help if you have any suggestions.