Friday, November 23, 2007

Cough, Cough

Did you hear about this gal who had a hairball removed from her stomach? Apparently, she had been eating hair for some time because that photo shows a HUGE hairball! Ack!! I can't even imagine..can you?

Not only are there people who eat hair, but there are also people who eat other nonfood items like clay, sand, glue, chalk, coffee grounds..well, just about anything you wouldn't normally eat. (I guess I shouldn't say "nonfood" because there are things like flour and cornstarch that are eaten also.) This eating disorder is called Pica and is common in people with developmental delays and those who have had brain injuries. It is also thought that maybe some nutritional deficiencies are the cause of Pica. In order to be diagnosed with Pica, you have to display the craving for more than a month.

Being a collector of words, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add these to my list:

Geophagia---consumption of dirt, clay or chalk
Hematophagia--consumption of blood
Trichophagia--consumption of hair
Xylophagia--consumption of wood
Bibliophagia--eating a book one page at a time!

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