Trichophagia ( _el. τριχοφαγία, from τρίχα, tricha “hair” + φάγειν, phagein “to eat”) is the compulsive eating of hair. Most often, long hair is masticated while still attached to the head and then swallowed. The hair eventually collects in the gastrointestinal tract causing symptoms such as indigestion and stomach pain. A purgative can be given to induce the elimination of the resulting trichobezoar.

In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the mass. [ [ Surgical removal of a hairball] ] In 2007, an article in The New England Journal of Medicine reported the removal of a hairball weighing ten pounds from the stomach of an eighteen year-old Chicago woman suffering from trichophagia. [ [ Doctors untangle the strange case of the giant hairball] ]

ee also

*Rapunzel syndrome


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  • trichophagia — noun Compulsive eating of hair …   Wiktionary

  • trichophagia — The eating of hair or wool. * * * tricho·pha·gia (trik″o faґjə) [tricho + phagia] the habit of eating hair, a form of pica …   Medical dictionary

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  • Rapunzel syndrome — (also known as Trichobezoar) is an extremely rare intestinal condition in humans resulting from the consumption of hair. It is named after the long haired character Rapunzel in the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Rapunzel syndrome is also known …   Wikipedia

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