20-year-old Annie Marshall began experiencing symptoms in March 2020 after an attack of food poisoning caused pain every time she ate. A year later, in March 2021, after visiting a number of specialists, she was diagnosed with gastroparesis. But despite the fact that she received a number of medications and treatments, Annie claims she still suffered from symptoms, leaving her no choice but to drink fluids. diet. Expressing her frustration at the Facebook group for those suffering from gastroparesis, the woman suggested she consider middle arched ligament syndrome, or MALS for short.
Annie from Epping Forest, Essex, said: “It is assumed that the stomach should be emptied in half an hour, but for me in four hours it emptied zero percent.
“I didn’t know what to do, and I felt very bad – I almost refused and spoke to the gastronomy group on Facebook about everything that happened. I had a message from a woman from America who said she had been a nurse for twenty years and I should take a look at MALS. She had it herself and worked with MALS surgeons – so it was kind of lucky. “
In March 2020, Annie, a broker, first visited a therapist about her symptoms when, she claims, she was told it was her stomach.
But when the pain became unbearable, she returned, demanding answers after struggling to eat.
As the pain continued, she claims to have consulted a general practitioner several times, once she underwent an MRI, but to no avail.
Annie claimed that one doctor suggested that she was suffering from anorexia after failing to find physical symptoms.
But in the end she was sent to specialists who further investigated her symptoms, resulting in March 2021, she was first diagnosed with gastroparesis.
She said: “You have a paralyzed stomach, the doctor said it was the worst thing he had seen and did not believe that no one had checked me before.
“It was nice to have a diagnosis and know I’m not crazy. I was taking all my gastroparesis medication and even injecting Botox into my stomach, but nothing helped. I contacted a doctor in Texas who was a pioneer of bariatric surgery and gastric surgery – at that point we were very desperate. I lost two stones and wasn’t that big to start with, so I was pretty underweight at the time and my weight loss continued every week.
“I flew to Mexico with my mother and then went to Texas, where I had surgery on a keyhole, and a few days later flew home. We didn’t know how effective it would be until two months after surgery I sat on a liquid puree diet for six weeks after surgery. The doctor said that in two months I should be on solid, but I could hardly stand the fluids and could not hold on tight.
“He was confused because everyone else who had surgery had such success, physically my stomach emptying accelerated, but all my symptoms were still there.”
Despite treatment, the chronic pain continued until one Facebook user with an eagle’s eye suggested she might have MALS disease.
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She said: “I spoke in a gastroparesis group on Facebook and received a message from a woman from America who said I needed to consider MALS – middle arched ligament syndrome.
“My sister and I researched this a bit and it seemed very similar to me, which was an encouraging sign as gastroparesis is sometimes secondary to MALS and we were never told the cause of it, it just came out of nowhere. I did an ultrasound with a doctor in London which was positive for MALS and then another diagnostic test was done when they inject steroids into a nerve bundle after quite a few scans.
“They have to be very careful and have to rule out everything else because it’s very rare. For eight hours after the steroid injection I ate quite normally and without symptoms – in my head I couldn’t figure out how I could suddenly eat, but it was a pretty good sign that it could be solved with surgery.
“I contacted the world’s best surgeon, MALS, who is in Connecticut, and had to send all his scans – I was put on a waiting list for surgery, which I hope will take place in July.”