Doctors in India had to act quickly, after they discovered a five-foot-long hairball in the stomach an intestinal tract of a 15-year-old girl’s stomach. Apparently the girl, identified as Kavita Kumari, compulsively swallows strands of her own hair.
According to a report from The Mirror, Kumari has been addicted to eating her own hair for at least a year. Although uncommon, the addiction known as trichophagia, is sometimes known as Rapunzel syndrome. Trichophagia is often associated trichotillomania—a disorder in which the sufferer pulls out their own hair.
In Kumari’s case, she would also pluck other people’s hair, or fallen hair, and eat that as well.
Things took a turn for the worst for Kumari when she lost her appetite for food and began to vomit after being forced to eat. She was taken to see doctors when her stomach began to protrude—she also started to suffer severe stomach pains and swelling.
Doctors in Uttar Pradesh were shocked when a CT scan revealed the massively huge hairball in her abdomen, as a result of her condition. Measuring at five-feet long, the hair blockage had caused a lesion in her stomach and small intestine, as well as malnourishment and physical weakness.
Kumari underwent a two-hour surgery to remove the blockage, and is reportedly recovering well.
She will be given psychological hair to help her learn to cope with her trichophagia, and her parents hope that she will one day be able to eat normal food again.