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Loyola Bariatric Surgeon Explains Al Roker's 'Accident'

“Dumping” Phenomenon Occurs in Some Bariatric Patients But Not All

MELROSE PARK, Ill. - While promoting his new book describing his improved life thanks to bariatric surgery, broadcast personality Al Roker says that he thought he was passing gas during a White House event with George Bush. Instead he soiled his pants, which led him to change out of his undergarments and “go commando.”  Bipan Chand, MD, director Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, explains Roker’s bariatric surgery treatment and why this happened to him.

“The phenomenon is known as "dumping" and has two different manifestations. One may be a gastrointestinal process that includes consumption of a high sugar load, which leads to intestinal influx of fluid,” said Chand, who has performed more than 2,000 bariatric procedures, including the Roux-en-Y treatment. “This can lead to diarrhea as well as vomiting and can occur in many post-Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients but does not occur in all of them.” Chand did not perform Roker’s procedure.

Chand said “dumping” acted like a negative feedback mechanism for patients. “If diarrhea or vomiting due to improper eating occurs on a frequent basis, patients self-correct their behavior and refrain from consuming those foods that cause the undesirable symptoms."

The other manifestation of “dumping” may include a glucose imbalance. “An overestimation of the amount of insulin the body needs to process the same sugar load will not lead to intestinal symptoms but to rapid fluctuations in blood sugar,” Chand said. “The blood sugar may go up rapidly after the consumption and then bottom out. This may lead to feelings of rapid heart rate and sweating."

Chand added: “The bottom line is that after intestinal surgery for weight loss, patients must remain focused on all aspects of health including dietary discretion, dietary supplementation and physical activity."

At Loyola, an integrated team of medical professionals, including a bariatric-focused psychologist, internal medicine physician, surgeon, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, care for weight-loss patients. Surgical and nonsurgical interventions are available at Loyola.  To learn more about medical and surgical weight loss at Loyola, or to sign up for a free information session, please call (800) 504-1397 or visit http://www.loyolamedicine.com/bariatrics/

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

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