MALS: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Explained

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Are you suffering from nausea and vomiting in addition to frequent stomach pain? These are signs of a rare condition known as Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS).

MALS (medial arcuate ligament syndrome) is a rare disorder characterized by chronic and intense abdominal pain, typically during exercise or food intake. The median arcuate artery causes the disorder, an elastic band that connects the diaphragm with the spine that is compressed by the celiac artery and restricts blood flow to digestive organs. MALS can accompany various symptoms and chronic discomfort, and doing exercise and eating is difficult for sufferers.

Navigating MALS

This section will explain the symptoms of MALS and its diagnosis and treatment options.


Effects of MALS can vary and are often mistaken for other medical illnesses. Common signs include abdominal pain, nausea, loss of weight, and diarrhea that worsens after eating or during exercise. The debilitating symptoms can worsen when exercising or after drinking particular food and drinks, significantly decreasing the quality of life. To read more info about MALS, you can search online for articles and blog posts about it.


The diagnosis of MALS can be tricky since the symptoms could be similar to other gastrointestinal disorders. Numerous tests can be requested to determine whether you have MALS. These could include an ultrasound scan, CT scan, MRI, and angiogram.

Angiograms are when your doctor injects dye directly into your bloodstream to see blood flow through your abdomen. They will also be able to identify blockages or narrowing of arteries supplying the digestive tract. 

Treatment Options

The treatment plan for you is formulated by your physician once you are diagnosed with MALS. The treatment options available for MALS may range from lifestyle changes to surgery. These are the more common ones:

  • Lifestyle Changes – Some people who suffer from MALS may experience relief from their symptoms by making changes to their lifestyles, such as sustaining the proper diet, staying away from trigger food items, and adding exercise to their daily routine.
  • Treatments – Anti-nausea drugs may be given to ease symptoms of MALS pain relievers.
  • Celiac Block Injection – Celiac block injections consist of administering a local anesthetic and a steroid into the area surrounding the celiac artery to alleviate discomfort and increase blood flow.
  • Endovascular Treatment – Endovascular treatment involves inserting catheters to access 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 for median arcuate ligament release could be necessary if lifestyle changes, medications, or endovascular treatment do not improve the condition. During this procedure, the ligament responsible for compression is either removed or cut, allowing blood to return to your digestive organs.


MALS is often misdiagnosed rare condition that can lead to frequent abdominal nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea. If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms seeking medical attention to confirm the diagnosis of MALS is essential. While there is no one-size-fits-all treatment for MALS, many options are accessible, including lifestyle modifications or the administration of medication, or injection of celiac block or surgery.

By understanding the signs present, the diagnosis, and the treatments related to MALS, you take control of your well-being and get the assistance you need to lead a pain-free life. Book an appointment right now to start your journey towards being healthier for the future.