This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Habba Syndrome

I became aware of this disorder while watching the show Mystery Diagnosis (I know, I know).  I had never heard of it before and I don't think many people have so I wanted to post about it.  This syndrome was discovered by Dr Habba in NY and is a GI disease in which the person has frequent bouts of diarrhea that can come on suddenly, which can severely limit a person's activities.  The diarrhea usually follows eating and is caused by a dysfunction in the gallbladder, in which too much bile is released.  Some people are homebound simply because they can't stray too far from a bathroom, and those who do go out often engage in what he calls "bathroom mapping"- always knowing where the nearest bathroom is located.  It can also result in loss of bowel control, which can be horrifying to experience.

This is to some extent a diagnosis of exclusion, so patients are usually tested to rule out other conditions such as Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Celiac Disease, among others.  There is a specific test that may be done to evaluate the functioning of the gallbladder itself, called a DISIDA scan, in which CCK is injected and the response from the gallbladder is measured.  The disease is treated with agents that bind to bile salts, such as cholestyramine.  In 2011 Dr Habba published research that found that of 303 patients with IBS studied, 68% had treatable bile acid disorders including Habba Syndrome.  Here is the study:
Diarrhea Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-D): Fact or fiction

For more about this syndrome visit Dr Habba's website here.

Here is the episode of Mystery Diagnosis if anyone is interested...