I’m 36 years old and weigh only 3 stone because I’m dying of a rare condition.
A WOMAN is fighting for her life as she battles a rare disease that is starving her to death.
Nicolette Baker, 36, weighs only three stone and twenty kilograms (20kg) because she can’t eat or drink without excruciating pain.
She’d spent her entire life being misdiagnosed with the mental illness anorexia, until doctors finally figured out what was causing her inability to eat seven years ago.
The hopeful 36-year-old is now desperately raising funds for her “last chance” surgery in Germany.
“I will die as I become weaker and weaker and more organs lose blood supply,” she says if she doesn’t get it.
“I don’t know if I’ll make it until the surgery date,” Nicolette told Cornwall Live, “but I’m living for each day and the hope that I’ll get better is giving me something to look forward to.”
Superior Mesenteric Arterial Syndrome (SMAS) is a very rare disorder that affects about 0.1 to 0.3 percent of people in the United States.
It occurs when the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine, is compressed, causing food to build up instead of passing through.
In comparison to a normal sized garden hose, Nicolette likened her small intestine to a pinched drinking straw.
The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center describes the symptoms as “severely debilitating,” including pain, fullness, and vomiting within half an hour of eating.
It causes life-threatening weight loss and malnutrition, which according to some sources kills one out of every three patients.
Bacterial infections can develop as a result of rotting food, and the sufferer may develop a fear of eating as a result of the discomfort.
Nicolette’s organs also don’t get enough blood because key blood vessels have been squashed, she claims.
Nicolette recalls restricting her eating as early as the age of four to alleviate her pain.
“Throughout childhood, early adolescence, and adulthood, I was treated as a mental health patient with an eating disorder for 25 years,” she said.
“I was incarcerated in eating disorder units all over the county for months, sometimes a year, and was forced to gain weight through punishing feeding regimens that my digestive system couldn’t handle.”
“During these decades of treatment, I felt completely humiliated and had my identity stripped away, not least because I couldn’t get the message across to professionals that I couldn’t stomach the food I was eating.”
“I didn’t have anorexia because I wanted to lose weight,” she says.
I simply didn’t want to eat because it was causing me pain.”
Doctors told Nicolette that her pain and bloating were caused by her stomach…
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