CBS Local — A woman who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease was found to actually have a plastic ketchup packet stuck in her small intestine for six years. The mystery object was discovered when surgeons performed an operation to figure out why none of the standard treatments for Crohn’s were working.

According to a press release from the British Medical Journal, the 41-year-old patient in Great Britain had all the symptoms of the chronic bowel disease including abdominal pain and bloating. Doctors at Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital in Slough eventually opted to go in and find the root of the woman’s constant pain.

Once the surgeons started to relieve some the massive inflammation in the woman’s intestine, the report states their efforts exposed, “two pieces of plastic bearing the word ‘Heinz.'”

It turned out that the 41-year-old somehow swallowed a ketchup wrapper that lodged in her small intestine. The packet had actually cut into the woman’s stomach, which caused the Crohn’s-like symptoms.

“This case highlights that an inflammatory mass in the small intestine caused by the perforation of ingested foreign body can mimic Crohn’s disease,” the report reads. “To our knowledge, this is the first report of a synthetic plastic packaging causing ileo-caecal junctional perforation mimicking Crohn’s disease.”

The doctors went on to say that once the six-year-old condiment pouch was taken out, the patient’s insides began to return to normal. The woman reportedly said she has no memory of using a ketchup packet and can’t remember a meal where she may have accidentally swallowed one.


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