Answer Posted: Pain kept this young woman from eating for 5 years!
The condition causing the pain was MALS — Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome. First described a century ago, MALS occurs when a band of connective tissue called the median arcuate ligament, which extends from the base of the diaphragm and crosses over the aorta, compresses the celiac artery, which supplies blood to the stomach and other organs. A leading theory is that compression restricts normal blood flow to the digestive organs. Rapid weight loss or illness appears to be a trigger; MALS overwhelmingly affects females, sometimes young children. It is a diagnosis of exclusion based on symptoms and imaging, made after other disorders, including anorexia, have been ruled out.
Doctors suspected MALS after examining images from earlier tests that appeared to contradict the written report ruling it out and Testing confirmed doctor’s suspicion. An earlier CT scan had been performed incorrectly, producing a false negative result. They suggested that surgery might help. She underwent a psychiatric evaluation required of all patients before surgery.She underwent surgery on 18th March 2016. The next day, Mackenzie ate a spoonful of hospital scrambled eggs — and waited. When she felt no pain, she burst into tears. Mackenzie battled weeks of postoperative nausea, which dissipated as her stomach grew accustomed to eating. Her pain has not returned.