Friday, October 07, 2016

Hair balls

Today is the day of weird things growing in the body. I just wrote about a tail growing on a kid's back. Now, it's a hair ball in a woman's stomach. This one is a case of the Rapunzel Syndrome. It is caused by people plucking and eating their own hair. Their once glorious locks build up in the digestive system where they can eventually have a devastating effect.

This woman developed sudden vomiting and constipation. Her stomach swelled and she was unable to keep down any food. Doctors originally thought it was anemia. But the surgery showed a 6inx4in ball of densely packed hair in the stomach and then another 1.5inx1in hairball in the small intestines. 

There have only been 88 other reported cases of Rapunzel syndrome. In some the hair snakes all the way through the digestive system from stomach to large intestines. Most cases are in childhood - with 40% of Rapunzels under the age of 10.

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