MALS Uncovered: What You Need to Know

Are you suffering from nausea and vomiting in addition to persistent stomach pain? They could be symptoms of a rare Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS) disorder.

MALS (medial arcuate ligament syndrome) is a rare disorder that can cause chronic and severe abdominal pain, usually with exercise or food intake. The condition is caused by the median arcuate. This elastic band connects the diaphragm with the spine, which is compressed by the celiac artery and hinders blood flow to the digestive organs. MALS can present with various symptoms and can cause long-lasting discomfort doing exercise and eating difficult for patients.

Navigating MALS

This section will outline the symptoms of MALS, its diagnosis, and the available treatment options.


The symptoms of MALS are diverse and could be confused with other medical conditions. The most common signs are chronic abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea, which gets worse when you eat or engage in physical exercise. The symptoms can become more severe when exercising or after drinking certain kinds of food or drinks, significantly decreasing the quality of life.


The diagnosis of MALS can be difficult as the symptoms could be similar to other digestive disorders. Various tests can be requested to determine if you suffer from MALS. They could include ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, and angiogram imaging.

Angiograms are when the doctor injects dye into your bloodstream to observe blood flow within the abdomen. This will reveal any obstructions or narrowing of the artery that supplies your digestive organs.

Treatment Options

Based on the extent of the illness, the treatment plan will be developed by your doctor once you are diagnosed with MALS. Therapies can range from lifestyle adjustments to surgery; here are the commonly used ones:

  • Lifestyle Changes – MALS syndrome may relieve symptoms by following a nutritious diet, avoiding trigger foods, and incorporating exercise into their daily routines.
  • Medicines – Anti-nausea medication can be used to manage symptoms associated with MALS pain relievers.
  • Celiac Block Injection – Celiac block injections involve administering a local anesthetic and steroid to the area around the celiac artery to alleviate discomfort and increase blood flow.
  • Endovascular Treatment – Endovascular treatment involves inserting catheters to connect to the affected artery and widening it using balloons or stents. This minimally-invasive procedure can provide temporary relief for some individuals suffering from MALS.
  • Surgery – Surgery might be necessary if lifestyle changes, medications, and even endovascular treatments fail to improve the condition. The ligament causing the compression is cut off or removed, providing median arcuate ligament relief and allowing blood to return to your digestive organs.


MALS is often misdiagnosed as a rare illness that can cause chronic abdominal nausea, pain, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea. If you’re experiencing the symptoms seeking medical advice to determine if you have MALS is crucial. Although there’s no universal cure for MALS, there are many options accessible, including lifestyle modifications as well as medications and celiac block injections or surgery.

You take control of your health by understanding the signs, diagnoses, and treatments associated with MALS. You receive the aid you need to live a painless life. Book an appointment right now to begin your journey to having a better tomorrow.