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Health Beat: Irritable bowel or Habba syndrome?

Published On: Jul 07 2014 05:23:28 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 07 2014 06:15:05 PM EDT

Forty-five million Americans struggle with irritable bowel syndrome.

There was a time when Deborah Wilson hated to eat in public.

"I was so afraid of the consequences of eating," said Wilson, who would eat and run to the nearest restroom.

As a result, she started to waste away. At one point, she weighed only 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," said Dr. Saad Habba, a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

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 wrote about is research in medical journals, and now the condition is actually known as Habba syndrome.