OMG! You believe it or not it’s really true. A man's hunger for metal that led him to swallow 40 knives may sound peculiar, but such strange cravings can be symptoms of an eating disorder in which people ingest anything from dirt to talcum powder.
The 42-year-old man in India said he had consumed the knives over a 2-month period, according to CNN. Some of the knives we refolded up when the man ingested them, but some were unfolded, and extended to about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long. The man required a 5-hour operation to remove the knives. Because some of the knives were open, the man was bleeding profusely and couldn't have survived for much longer before his operation,according to the Washington Post. But now he should be able to leave the hospital in a few days.
The man, whose real name was not published, received emergency treatment at a hospital in Gurdaspur, a city in the North India state of Punjab, after complaining of abdomen pain and weakness.
A group of surgeons were amazed when they discovered he had swallowed dozens of knives over the last two months because liked the way they tasted', Barcroft Media reports.
DrJitinder Malhotra, managing director of the hospital, described it as the most shocking case he had seen in his 20-year career.
“When we began the diagnosis, we found the cause of the pain puzzling. We did an ultrasound, which revealed some solid mass in his stomach, shaped like cancer,”he said.
“The patient then told us he had an uncontrollable urge to eat knives. What is astonishing is that he had been eating knives [(for) the past two months.
“This was very unnerving; I have not witnessed something like this in my career as a doctor.”
About five hours of surgery, the patient was successfully treated and is set to be discharged in the next few days.
People who eat nonfood materials for at least one month may have an eating disorder called pica, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). People with the condition have been known to consume a variety of substances, including dirt, clay, hair, paint, sand, soap,metal and paper.
Exactly what causes pica in a given case is not always known, but the disorder may be a sign of a medical or psychological problem, said Dr. Gilda Moreno, a clinical psychologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, who was not involved with the Indian man's case.
For instance, a lack of certain minerals in the body, such as iron or zinc, may trigger pica in some people, Moreno said. In these cases, people could crave an unusual substance the way that thirsty people crave water, she said. That the Indian man said he liked the taste of metal, and even equated it with an addiction, "almost tells you that there must be some nutritional component to it," Moreno told Live Science.