Bethany Birch had pain in her diaphragm on and off for eight months in 2016.

She knew it was triggered by food, so she said she tried taking an antacid. That helped a little, but, eventually, she avoided eating altogether. She estimated she lost 25 pounds in that time.

One night that September, the pain would not go away for hours. It was so severe she went to the emergency room at Indian Path Community Hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she lives. An ultrasound revealed she needed her gallbladder removed right away. She was able to get into surgery quickly because she hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours due to her food avoidance.

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