Friday, 3 Feb 2023

Woman mistakenly diagnosed with eating disorder

Eating disorder sufferer details issues with mental health services

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A woman from Kent was wrongly diagnosed with an eating disorder while she was actually suffering from a rare bowel condition. Eloise Christine, 25, started vomiting after every meal aged 18, despite seemingly having no problems.

With her health constantly deteriorating, doctors in her area thought Eloise had an eating disorder.

However, after many years, she was diagnosed with intestinal malrotation – a rare birth defect affecting around 0.2 percent of the population.

Ms Eloise told “Everything I eat orally makes me sick.

“My intestines and stomach are twisted, so the food gets to a certain point and then can’t go any further so I am sick.

“The summer can be extremely difficult with being hot and thirsty, as well as still feeling hungry.”

The rare medical condition was first diagnosed at a specialist hospital in London after three years, with her local hospital lacking the facilities to handle the rare condition.

The trainee teacher added: ‘My diagnosis journey was very long and difficult. After lots of fighting from my mum, and after many admissions in my local hospital, they agreed to do further tests.

“They eventually found out that I had Intestinal Malrotation at 19 years of age. I was then transferred to a London specialist hospital, St Marks, who have been amazing.”

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Waiting for a proper diagnosis, Eloise lost almost four stone, being put on feeding tubes and meal replacements.

She told the publication: “I got my first feeding tube at 22 years old when I lost too much weight and was starving to death.”

After years of treatment, she is now a healthy body weight and consumes 1,500 calories every day.

She hopes to soon return to university to resume her studies.

Three operations to correct her bowel malrotation have failed, and Eloise now receives 100 percent of her nutrition and fluids through a tube.

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She added: “Myself and my family always hope that one day someone will be able to fix my defect, and I will be able to eat and drink.”

Her last proper meal without side effects was at 18.

She said: “How I miss walking in a supermarket, and browsing through all the food I would like for dinner.

“It has taken years to not break down every time someone mentions food, but it still isn’t easy. I have to distract myself a lot.”

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