A 13-year-old girl from Chembur, undergoing psychiatric treatment for depression, swallowed 60 grams of hair that was later removed via an operation.
According to reports, the girl had been undergoing treatment for depression over the past couple of years and would often complain of stomach aches. Her mother would take her to the local hospital where doctors usually prescribed her anti-depressants.
When the girl showed no sign of relief from abdominal pain, often suffering from frequent vomiting and constipation, her parents took her to Aryan Hospital in Kurla on Oct 17. After an X-ray and CT scan the doctors claimed it to be a case of intestinal obstruction, and an operation was performed on Oct 20.
A hair ball measuring 8cm×6cm×4cm was recovered from her digestive canal and sent for analysis, reported The Times of India.
The doctors said that the girl was suffering from "trichotillomania" - a condition in which patients have an intense urge to twist their hair frequently and would often break it to consume.
Dr Sunita Dube of Aryan Hospital said that the girl must have been eating hair for about three to four years due to which a bald spot was to be seen on her scalp. This was not very much evident in her case.
The girl has been feeling better post the operation and is undergoing counselling to restrain herself from eating hair.
"We have put her on behavior therapy where the heads of patients are covered to control their urge to pluck their hair. We also told the parents to encourage her whenever she manages to control her urges to pluck her hair" Hindustan Times quoted Dr Anjali Kaira, a consultant psychiatrist of Aryan Hospital, as saying.