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HealthMost PopularTeen Lost Three Stone In Five Weeks After Developing Rare Incurable Condition

Teen Lost Three Stone In Five Weeks After Developing Rare Incurable Condition

A teenager has told how an incurable condition left her unable to eat – causing her to lose three stone in just five weeks.

Annie-Rose Williams, 19, has a rare disorder affecting her food pipe which makes her sick up to three times a day and leaves her in constant pain.

At its worst, she vomited every time she took a sip of water, and her weight plummeted from 10st 5lb to 7st 5lbs in just five weeks.

Once a size 12, her weight loss left her clothes hanging off her tiny frame and her ribs suddenly became visible.

Annie-Rose Williams eating and in hospital in November 2017 after not eating food for five weeks.

She was eventually diagnosed with achalasia – where the muscles in her oesophagus don’t contract properly to squeeze food into her stomach.

Doctors now regularly inflate a balloon in her oesophagus just so she can swallow for a short time, and she can finally eat ‘baby food’ – like porridge and mash potato.

But drama student Annie-Rose misses eating her favourite foods like burgers and is constantly terrified of vomiting.

Now a size eight, Annie-Rose, from Manchester said: “The condition completely changed my life, people take eating for granted.

“I feel that I have got this disorder for a reason and it makes me think about what I eat.

“I am constantly worried about it every day because my symptoms show then I may have to take time off my university course.

“The whole condition restricts my life. It’s catastrophic.

“I have to be extremely careful because I know anything I eat could immediately be regurgitated back up again.

“It has certainly affected my body confidence – especially as I have much paler skin because I am deficient in protein – and it’s made me feel extremely nervous about eating.”

Annie-Rose started to experience chest pains and a burning sensation in her stomach every time she ate or drank in November 2016.

Within days she started regurgitating every single piece of food which she ate, and doctors prescribed painkillers, she said.

But the pain and vomiting got worse, and soon she wasn’t able to eat or drink anything without vomiting.

She claims she survived on the tiny amounts she was able to keep down and lost three stone in five weeks.

Annie-Rose said: “It was a dreadful experience. I couldn’t swallow any food.

“I had to spend five weeks in bed which was emotionally draining.

“My figure was dramatically changing.

“I was extremely thin and you could see my ribs.”

She was admitted to hospital for a week where a CT and MRI scan revealed she had achalasia, in December 2016.

Annie-Rose said: “It was nice to know what was causing it but I knew now that I would not be able to eat some of my favourite foods ever again.”

Doctors temporarily relieved her symptoms with ‘dilation’ – where a balloon is inflated in the oesophagus to help stretch the ring of muscle that lets food into the stomach.

It was a success – but only lasted 11 days.

Annie-Rose said: “I felt very happy when l could feel water going down my stomach properly for the first time in five weeks.

“I started eating soft foods like mash and sweetcorn very slowly before moving onto harder foods such as Weetabix.

“But after 11 days I was left in tears as soon as the vomit came out of my mouth because I was so close to being able to eat and drink what I wanted to again.”

After another failed dilation, she spent Christmas on the sofa in pain.

“I couldn’t even touch Christmas dinner,” she said.

“Not joining in on a family tradition was extremely hard to get over.”

She had a three-hour laparoscopy – stomach keyhole surgery – in January 2017 to tighten the muscles at one end of her oesophagus.

It means after a week she was able to drink liquids, and she was finally able to eat soft foods in March 2017 – four months since she first started struggling.

Annie-Rose said: “I felt like an infant eating mashed up food.

“My eating habits were like trial and error, some days I could eat some items like pasta fine.

“But other days I would be sick all over the floor.”

Thinking the worst of her condition was behind her, she started studying performing arts at college – but the vomiting returned in December 2017, and still hasn’t stopped.

Annie-Rose said: “I can struggle to eat starchy foods such as rice, pasta, and bread.

“I attempting to slowly introduce very small quantities of meat like chicken into my diet, but it runs the risk of getting stuck in my oesophagus.”

Annie-Rose, who weighs 11st, said: “I recently joined the Arden School of Theatre
which was meant to be a new chapter in my life.

“I have to be extremely careful because I know anything I eat could immediately be regurgitated back up again.

“It has certainly affected my body confidence and made me feel extremely nervous about eating especially as I have much paler skin because I am deficient in protein.”

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