A woman with a serious bowel disease was told by doctors that the cause of her ailment was a Heinz sauce sachet piercing the walls of her intestines. The patient had thought for the past six years that she had Crohn’s disease.
The 41-year-old woman was diagnosed with the chronic disease by doctors after complaining of having acute abdominal pains and bloating lasting up to three days, classic symptoms of Crohn’s.
After prolonged standard treatment that she failed to respond to and displays of “severe” symptoms of the chronic disease, the patient underwent keyhole surgery, according to the British Medical Journal.
The procedure, carried out at the Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, revealed an inflamed mass in her small intestine, featuring two pieces of plastic packaging with the iconic Heinz logo.
The packet bore the features of a sauce sachet, though the patient claimed she had no recollection of consuming any such item.
Once the package was removed, the woman was relieved of all pain and cleared of symptoms for the five months after the surgery.
Doctors said it was the first case of ingested plastic packaging mimicking the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, though there had been previous cases involving toothpicks.
“It is important to consider alternative surgical diagnoses in patients with presumed Crohn’s disease unresponsive to standard treatment,” the report said.
Crohn’s disease is a long-term condition which causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system.
There is currently no cure, so efforts are directed to reducing inflammation, relieving pain and avoiding surgery. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, fever, fatigue and abdominal pain. It now appears that consuming sauce packaging can have the same effects.