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There's a Reason Why You Shouldn't Eat Your Hair

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Did you know there's a medical/psychological condition called trichophagia -- where someone is compelled to eat his or her own hair. Could this the next big celeb dysfunction? Move over meth and anorexia. Here comes hair eating to help with your weight gain...

An 18-year-old Chicago girl found out the hard way why eating your hair is bad for you. She was suffering from stomach pain, vomiting and losing 40 lbs. over a five-month period. She had a giant hairball blocking her stomach. We're not making this up. It was a case presented in the New England Journal of Medicine, not the National Enquirer. Here's how the Journal presented the case:

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy revealed a large bezoar occluding nearly the entire stomach, without extension into the duodenum (Panel B). On questioning, the patient stated that she had had a habit of eating her hair for many years — a condition called trichophagia.
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The massive hairball that weighed 10 lbs.!! and measured 15x7x7 inches when it was removed. You want to see it? We know you do. It's after the jump. But we warn you. It's gross.

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Can you believe she ate this much hair in a lifetime? She doesn't eat her hair anymore. Lesson learned. If you want to see giant hairballs on display, then head over the to the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Top photo by dabdiputs via flickr.
Second photo from the New England Journal of Medicine.