- 10 to 24% of the population would suffer from SLAM.
- Very often the disease is asymptomatic.
- The main symptoms are weight loss, recurrent abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and anorexia.
It all started in March 2020. Annie Marshall, a young woman who lives in Essex, UK, makes a food poisoningtell it DailyMail. From then on, she felt pain every time she ate. The doctors tell her that she is probably suffering from a gastroenteritis, and that his symptoms should pass. In reality, she still cannot feed herself and spends days bedridden, devastated by the pain.
A first diagnosis of gastroparesis
Several medical appointments are linked, without the origin of his suffering being found. A doctor even tells her that she is anorexic. The diagnosis falls in March 2021: she suffers from gastroparesis. This digestive disorder causes a slowing of gastric emptying, or the evacuation of food from the stomach. “It was good to have a diagnosis and know that I wasn’t crazy.she confided to the British media. I took all the meds for gastroparesis and even got Botox in my stomach but nothing worked.” In total, she lost more than 12 kilos. She ended up contacting a doctor in Texas, and went there to be operated on for a laparoscopy : the technique allows to intervene inside the belly with small incisions. But the pain returns shortly after the operation. “A stomach is supposed to empty in half an hour but for me, after four hours, nothing had emptied”she explains.
A syndrome discovered thanks to Facebook
Desperate, the young woman publishes a message in a group Facebook people with gastroparesis. “I received a message from a woman in America who told me that she had been a nurse for twenty years and that I should find out about SLAM”she tells the DailyMail.
This acronym stands for Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (LAMS), also known as Dunbar Syndrome. She does some research on the Internet and discovers that her symptoms are close to those described in this pathology. “I did an ultrasound with a doctor in Londonshe adds. He was positive for SLAM, then I did another diagnostic test.” During this, he is injected with steroids at the level of the nerves. “Eight hours after the steroid injection I ate normally and had no symptoms. remembers the young woman. I didn’t understand how it was possible that I could suddenly eat.” Since then, she has contacted a surgeon specializing in this syndrome, who practices in the United States, in Connecticut. “I have been put on the waiting list for surgery which will hopefully take place in July.” After two years of waiting, relief has never been closer for Annie Marshall.