Surgeons in India were surprised when they discovered coins, nails, and other foreign objects inside a man who went to the hospital complaining of a stomach ache.
Maksud Khan, 35 years old, was admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi Medical College and Hospital with abdominal pains. When doctors checked on him to determine what could be causing his condition, they found hundreds of coins, more than 3 lbs of nails, shards of glass, shaving blades, and a six-inch rusted iron shackle in his stomach.
"We come across such a case for the first time in our career," said Dr. Priyank Sharma, the surgical team lead.
Depression And Abnormal Eating Habits
Three-wheeler driver Khan had been complaining of stomach pains for the past three months. He had fallen into depression and got hooked on eating metal objects as a result. The coins inside him were from his customers. A family member said when he got the urge to eat a coin, he took it with water.
His parents were unaware of what was happening until Khan started complaining of stomach pains and they observed his abdomen was swelling. It was then that they decided to bring him to the hospital.
According to Dr. APS Geharwar, HoD-surgery, Khan had been consuming metal for a year. People usually begin eating abnormally when dealing with psychological conditions and there shouldn't be a problem until foreign objects ingested start blocking the intestines.
The pain was never an issue initially for Khan but the nails he had eaten had been lodged, piercing his stomach. He was bleeding on the inside and the operation was done just in time to keep him from further harm.
"He cannot be said to be out of danger yet, but he is stable," said Geharwar.
In total, more than 15 lbs of foreign objects were removed from Khan. He had about Rs 2,000 ($31) worth of coins inside him.
In 2015, another man in India was reported to have consumed coins, nails, nuts, bolts, and batteries. Like Khan, he developed the habit of consuming foreign objects after falling into depression.
Another case in 2016 saw another Indian man swallow 40 knives. According to the patient, he felt an "addiction" to the behavior. Additionally, he may have had an eating disorder called pica, where people eat non-food items for at least a month.
Just last month, a man in France was found with over 100 pieces of metal inside him. However, he was diagnosed with psychosis, not depression.