Health

Mystery Condition Makes Kerri Dowdswell Look Pregnant After Meals

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

A 23-year-old British woman has baffled doctors with her mystery health condition - she looks pregnant after she eats.

Kerri Dowdswell is normally a British size 10, or a US size 4. When she eats, however, it only takes minutes for her belly to become so bloated that she looks several months pregnant. The bloating goes away after a few hours.

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She has spent 10 years trying to find out why this happens to her, but doctors haven't discovered a reason. She has been tested for food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. She has tried eliminating different foods from her diet, all to no avail.

The problem began when Kerri reached puberty. She tried a vegan diet, but it didn't help.

Now, when she goes out to dinner, she makes sure to wear maternity pants or loose clothing, because she knows her belly will expand immediately after she eats.

"It's really embarrassing," Kerri told British newspaper the Daily Mail. "I watch what I eat and exercise regularly, so I'm mortified when I end up looking like I'm about to pop. I've been asked several times when I'm due to give birth, and I usually have to explain that my "baby" is a roast dinner."

It doesn't seem to matter what or how much Kerri eats - most of the time, even if she only eats a snack, her stomach will swell. Sometimes it takes minutes to happen, and other times, a few hours. It doesn't happen every time she eats, but she says it happens a few times a week.

"I've almost given up hope that I'll ever find a cure," she said. "It's not painful, just uncomfortable and embarrassing. I've learned to live with it, and I really have to see the funny side. My friends and family call it my 'food babies.'"