Forty-five million Americans struggle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the discomfort it often brings — stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea. But, those patients who have been unable to find relief from traditional treatment may not actually have IBS. Instead, it could be a newly diagnosed digestive condition.
There was a time when Deborah Wilson hated to eat in public.
“I was so afraid of the consequences of eating,” Wilson told Ivanhoe.
Wilson would eat — and run — to the nearest restroom. As a result, she started to waste away. At one point, she hit 98 pounds. Doctors told her it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But IBS treatments didn’t work.
“I started getting different tests done, but nobody could figure out what was wrong,” Wilson said.
“We are stuck with a patient that had chronic diarrhea, diagnosed with IBS, that didn’t get any better,” Saad Habba, MD, Gastroenterologist, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told Ivanhoe.
Habba ordered a nuclear test of Wilson’s gallbladder and discovered the organ wasn’t working.
Habba then prescribed Wilson the same medication taken by patients who have had their gallbladders surgically removed. Wilson takes a pill now before every meal to end sudden diarrhea.
“I’m encouraging all the patients to go back to their physicians and say this: … ‘do more … there is something wrong here. Believe in what I’m telling you … it’s not IBS,’” Habba said.
“I knew I had to find out why so I could get my life back,” Wilson said.
Habba says if you are not getting better using traditional IBS methods, insist the doctor check your gallbladder. Habba wrote about his research in medical journals and now the condition of a malfunctioning gallbladder is known as Habba Syndrome.