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Doctor explains why Al Roker pooped pants

Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:02 AM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- A Chicago surgeon said NBC-TV's broadcast personality Al Roker's revelation he pooped his pants while at the White House said it was a sort of "feedback."

As he was promoting his book "Never Goin' Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle For Good" on his life after bariatric surgery, Roker told NBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman on "Dateline" he thought he was passing gas during a White House event when George W. Bush was president, but instead he soiled his pants, resulting in his shedding of undergarments to "go commando."

Dr. Bipan Chand, director Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care, who was not involved in Roker's surgery, said the weatherman's phenomenon was known as "dumping."

"One might be a gastrointestinal process that includes consumption of a high sugar load that leads to intestinal influx of fluid," Chand said in a statement. "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, who has performed more than 2,000 bariatric procedures, including the Roux-en-Y treatment, said dumping was almost 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," Chand said.

The other manifestation of dumping might 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 might go up rapidly after the consumption and then bottom out. This may lead to feelings of rapid heart rate and sweating. 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."

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