Woman's 'bowel disease' was Heinz sauce sachet piercing intestine wall

Forty-one-year-old patient learns of unexpected cause after suffering bouts of acute abdominal pain

Tess de La Mare
Wednesday 03 January 2018 00:49
Comments
Doctors said it was the first case of ingested plastic packaging mimicking the symptoms of Crohn's disease
Doctors said it was the first case of ingested plastic packaging mimicking the symptoms of Crohn's disease

A woman thought she was suffering from a serious bowel disease for six years before doctors discovered some Heinz packaging piercing the wall of her intestine.

The 41-year-old patient suffered bouts of acute abdominal pain and bloating lasting up to three days, prompting doctors to diagnose her symptoms as Crohn's disease.

Doctors at Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, eventually decided surgery was the only option when the patient failed to respond to standard treatment, a case study in the British Medical Journal said.

But keyhole surgery found an inflamed mass in the small intestine, revealing two pieces of plastic packaging bearing the famous Heinz branding.

The plastic appeared to come from a sachet of sauce.

Once the packaging was removed the patient's symptoms were cured almost immediately, and she was still symptom-free five months after surgery.

She had no memory of consuming a meal involving the product found perforating the wall of her gut.

Doctors said it was the first case of ingested plastic packaging mimicking the symptoms of Crohn's disease.

"It is important to consider alternative surgical diagnoses in patients with presumed Crohn's disease unresponsive to standard treatment," the report said.

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in