Sisters live life without Stomach.
Yes, it may be hard to fathom how one could live any semblance of a normal life without a stomach. I certainly didn’t think it was even at all possible…
Then I was informed of sisters, Ravindra and Meeta Singh, who are doing just that.
They carry an extremely rare mutant gene. The E cadherin gene, which is only seen in around 100 families worldwide. The gene makes them much more susceptible to both stomach and breast cancer.
One of the sisters, Ravindra, already had gastric cancer by the time it came for her to have her operation. She is just 30 years of age.
Presently, It has been a year since the sisters had their operation and they are learning to lead normal lives again. Ravindra often feels tired and dizzy. The pair also have to follow a strict diet based on the type and quantity of food that they consume. The diet consists of eating a lot of small meals throughout the day. Overeating can cause acid reflux and discomfort.
Simon Dexter, a consultant at Leeds Hospital explains how this all this is allowed to work by saying, ” The gut is basically a tube, which goes from top to bottom. The stomach is basically a swelling in the tube, so when you take it out you close the gap ” He also goes on to say,
“The main function of the stomach is storage. It allows us to have a big meal and then not worry about it for a while.
“If you have not got a stomach then you have to have lots of small meals.
“The acid in the stomach also helps to sterilise food, but that is not so relevant today as we are not scratching around in the dirt digging up grubs.
“It also helps absorption of iron and vitamin B12, so you do need extra supplements. As long as you supplement the various minerals then it should not have any profound effect on general well-being.”
Gastric cancer can be notoriously difficult to diagnose. Most patients present with the cancer in its late stages and this means that the prognosis can be poor. It is important to see your doctor if you have any suspicions coupled with the following symptoms:
- Nausea and Vomiting (Including vomiting blood)
- Blood in the stool
- Indigestion or Heartburn
- Weakness or Fatigue
- Loss of appetite or Stomach Bloating