PARENTS

The Mum Who Hasn't Eaten A Single Meal For TWO YEARS

11/07/2012 14:02 | Updated 22 May 2015
Size Zero agony for the mum who hasn't eaten a single meal for TWO YEARSSWNS

A mother-of-two hasn't eaten a single meal for more than two years – because her stomach is paralysed.

Natalie Roux-Bean, 30, has shrunk from a healthy size 12 to a zero and is permanently hungry.

Doctors initially thought she was anorexic, but after extensive tests Natalie was diagnosed with a condition called gastroparesis.

She is unable to keep down anything more than a biscuit and is now fed 400 calories a day via a drip straight into her bloodstream.

The mother-of-two from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, said: "I am too weak to do a lot of things and I use a wheelchair to get around.

Size Zero agony for the mum who hasn't eaten a single meal for TWO YEARSSWNS

"Before I was diagnosed I would still try and eat but the pain was unbearable. It is so hard to not give into temptation.

i

Last week was my little girl's birthday and although I resisted the chocolate cake on the day the temptation eventually got the better of me. I quickly lived to regret it.

i

"My husband Paul and the energy of my beautiful kids keep me going."

Natalie's condition reduces the ability of the stomach to empty its contents even though there is no blockage. The cause is unknown but doctors believe it could be triggered by a disruption of nerve signals to the stomach.

Natalie was fitted with a 'stomach pacemaker' to try and ease her condition, but it had little effect.

She said: "These last two years have been horrible. My stomach is telling me I am hungry.

"I miss the taste of food every day and can't even remember what my last supper was.

"I try to stomach a nibble of a cracker every now and then but that is the only thing I have tasted in a long time.

i

Trying to fight your natural survival instincts to eat doesn't get any easier and although I am in pain I still crave the taste of a real food.

i

"I am really weak and have to give up work. I can't even take my children swimming or on bike rides anymore."

Natalie, who is mother to Emily, 10, and Leon, eight, had only been married to her childhood sweetheart Paul, 38, for six months when she first was overcome by stomach cramps.

After several frustrating attempts to get to the root of the cause, she decided to visit a consultant in London.

Tests were conducted on her stomach and finally, in the summer of 2011, she was diagnosed with gastroparesis.

They found she also had the tissue disorder Ideopahtic Ethers-Danlos Syndrome, which is caused by a genetic defect and could have triggered the paralysis.

Despite her diagnosis, Natalie was unable to get any treatment for the rare condition until December last year. Doctors fed a tube of nutrients into her small intestine - which allowed her to get around 400 calories-a-day into her system.

But she began to develop pain from the procedure, so medics decided to insert the drip straight into her bloodstream - via a vein near her heart. The formula contains salts, glucose, amino acids, lipids and added vitamins.

Natalie now has to have the drip inserted into her twice-a-day in hospital and has still not eaten a meal for more than two-and-a-half years.

"My weight has improved and I do feel better than I did before," she said. "But my stomach is still telling me I am hungry."
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