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Quit eating your hair!

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posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 11:23 AM
link Amazing story. This woman is lucky to be alive. I've heard of weird 'pica' stories (eating strange things) like starch or whatnot, but this takes the cake.

(CNN) -- It may not be the most appetizing reading before a hearty holiday meal, but the New England Journal of Medicine is devoting part of its Thanksgiving issue to a giant hairball -- and not the feline kind.

Doctors say this hairball removed from a woman's stomach weighed 10 pounds.

The prestigious journal details the case of a previously healthy 18-year-old woman who consulted a team of gastrointestinal specialists.

She complained of a five-month history of pain and swelling in her abdomen, vomiting after eating and a 40-pound weight loss.

After a scan of the woman's abdomen showed a large mass, doctors lowered a scope through her esophagus.

It revealed "a large bezoar occluding nearly the entire stomach," wrote Drs. Ronald M. Levy and Srinadh Komanduri, gastroenterologists at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.

For the uninitiated, a bezoar is a hairball.

"On questioning, the patient stated that she had had a habit of eating her hair for many years -- a condition called trichophagia," they wrote.

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New England Journal of Medicine
"It seemed like she'd been doing this for several years," Levy told CNN.

The woman underwent surgery to remove the mass of black, curly hair, which weighed 10 pounds and measured 15 inches by 7 inches by 7 inches, the doctors said.

Five days later, she was eating normally and was sent home.

A year later, the pain and vomiting were gone, the patient had regained 20 pounds "and reports that she has stopped eating her hair."

Reached at his home in Chicago, Levy said he had no idea whether the journal's timing of the publication on Thanksgiving was intentional.

Either way, he said, it would not affect the gastroenterologists' holiday dinner plans -- "We don't get fazed by much." E-mail to a friend
Sorry, linky no worky

[edit on 22-11-2007 by jpm1602]

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 11:30 AM
Sigh. One of my daughter's crisis behaviors is hair chewing. Both me and the nurse at her pediatricians have told her a similar story but I can't get her to quit eating her hair.

Got any pictures of the bezoar, by chance?

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 11:33 AM
It's a whopper MM, my puter skills are limited at best. Don't know why linky didn't work. Go CNN, not for the faint of heart! Thanks for the corrected linky MM. Folks, if you are squeamish, don't go there. MM, definitely show your daughter that, that would probably cure her. Good luck.

[edit on 22-11-2007 by jpm1602]

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 11:45 AM
I saw it! AAAAAAGHH!

Corrected linky

posted on Nov, 23 2007 @ 12:35 AM
I have no intention of looking at that, so I wll take your words for it. Man *shudder* thats would suck! Ten pounds of nasty hair, things that make you want to go bald. MM if that does not cure here, nothing will (assuming the pic is a gross as you say it is, again im taking your word). Well that my lack of two cents! Peace

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