Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS): What can I eat?

Posted by imarino @imarino, Oct 3, 2020

I have been suffering with stomach pains and flareups for the past three years. Every time I went to the hospital the doctors looked at me as if I was crazy and sent me home. Recently, I was in the hospital and they admitted me for 6 days since the pain was so intense (The worst it has ever been). They have diagnosed me with MALS. I am very lost and still processing everything. Does anyone have any tips on what kinds of foods I can eat? Ways to reduce the pain if there are any? And anything else that may be helpful. I chose not to get the surgery, I am 21 yrs old and feel I am a bit young and scared to go through that, especially bc of the risk of the many blood vessels surrounding where they would have to cut inside me. thank you

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@imarino – I know the pain you have had. Extreme, especially after meals.
The ligament is pressing on the celiac artery that supplies blood to the intestines and some organs.
After a meal the intestines need an increase in blood supply in order to digest.
The pain has same reason as chest pain when the coronary arteries can’t supply enough blood to the heart muscle.
There is no specific diet for this, but I had less pain when I ate small and easily digested meals. Small, more frequent meals could help.
If you will need surgery you can find a surgeon with experience in MALS surgery. Mayo Clinic is a good choice.
Have you been losing weight?

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@astaingegerdm

@imarino – I know the pain you have had. Extreme, especially after meals.
The ligament is pressing on the celiac artery that supplies blood to the intestines and some organs.
After a meal the intestines need an increase in blood supply in order to digest.
The pain has same reason as chest pain when the coronary arteries can’t supply enough blood to the heart muscle.
There is no specific diet for this, but I had less pain when I ate small and easily digested meals. Small, more frequent meals could help.
If you will need surgery you can find a surgeon with experience in MALS surgery. Mayo Clinic is a good choice.
Have you been losing weight?

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I believe I have started losing weight but its very hard to tell because I am still so swollen and everytime I think its going down it just flares back up. I am going to look into the mayo clinic, the specialist I had diagnosed me has never performed the surgery before and it made me feel a bit uncomfortable.

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@imarino – You should definitely find a surgeon who has significant experience. I think this condition is one that should be done as well as can be done. Mayo Clinic would be my recommendation. I had mine done at a major university medical center by the head of GI surgery. He had not done many since it's rare. He gave me the odds for me at my age and I went ahead with the surgery. I could not live with that pain.
Get back to me, please, when you have made your decision!

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Hi @imarino, I'd like to add my welcome along with @astaingegerdm. I'd also like to bring @kariulrich @jashetta @jasoncollins @sclindajanssen @mommyofaudrey15 @jessicakristen and other members into this discussion about what to eat and how to reduce the pain when living with MALS.

@imarino, you may also be interested in meeting others like you in this discussion:
– Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS) https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/median-arcuate-ligament-syndrome-mals/

How do you manage the pain now?

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Can this group please describe the pain that goes with a MALS flare? Thanks from a mom that works her Saturday nights up with a puking kid who is in extreme pain! And no answered from the MDs.

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Hi
I have had my pain for 1 year. I've lost 30 lbs and have had 18 varies tests. I was diagnosed with nMALS last month and scheduled for surgery this Thursday.
You might want to check out 2 groups on Facebook which I found extremely helpful. One is called MALS PALS and the other is MALS Awareness Community. It is all MALS patient's sharing their experiences and solutions.
Wishing you good luck. Stay positive. There are many doctors out there to help. They even provide a list of doctors for your reference. Lots of great information.

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@eforward – Excuse me for asking, but is the child sick as well as you are?
The pain is usually severe mid abdomen, I remember the pain as something not responding to distraction. It starts a while after a meal and can last for hours. It can also show nausea.

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