Thursday, October 29, 2009


Margaret Daalman came to hospital complaining of stomach ache - and one glance at her X-ray shows why.
Surgeons in Rotterdam in the Netherlands were flabbergasted when X-rays showed 78 different items of cutlery in the 52-year-old woman's stomach.
They rushed her to surgery in a desperate attempt to remove the dozens of forks and spoons trapped inside her body one by one.

She seems to have been suffering from some sort of obsession and every time she sat down for a meal she would ignore the food and eat the cutlery,' said one medic.

The astonishing images were actually taken over 30 years ago - but they were published for the first time this week in a Dutch medical magazine.
The magazine had asked for readers to send in examples of strange medical tales.
A doctor at a hospital in Sittard in the Netherlands sent in the tale of Ms Daalman.

When she went in for her surgery, Ms Daalman, a secretary in a local estate agents, told doctors: 'I don't know why but I felt an urge to eat the silverware - I could not help myself.'
Medics also revealed it was not the first time that she had been treated for eating the cutlery.
They said she had been diagnosed as suffering from a borderline personality disorder that left her with an urge to eat forks and spoons.

She never ate knives, however - and could not explain why not.
Ms Daalman made a full recovery and is said to be responding well to therapy she was receiving for the disorder.

The ingestion of foreign objects is a little-discussed type of disorder, according to an article in Pyschiatry Online.
Sometimes referred to as pica, individuals may crave and ingest non-food substances or an unusual quantity or selection of food commodities.

The phenomenon, considered a form of self-harm, is difficult for physicians to diagnose as - unlike with self-harming patients who burn or mutilate themselves - the damage is not always obvious.

It is also nearly impossible to prevent access to all potentially ingestible objects, the article added, making the behaviour difficult to stop without psychiatric treatment.

Doctors in Rotterdam said they had never heard of someone consuming quite so many foreign objects before.


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