Human Hairballs?

Is it possible for a humans to get hairballs? I mean, if you have a moustache or beard or just chew on your hair (as some women do), could you ingest enough hair to creat a hairball?
Curious in Pittsburgh,
K. Pier

Yes, it is. And damnit, I’ve forgotten the name. Something like a “belzoar”, I think. I was posting about Niel Gaiman’s “Sandman” tonight and a “belzoar” was a plot point in one of the stories. I think this has been on the MB before, though.

Didn’t you see the AP story a week or so ago where the girl died following an operation to remove a hairball? Something like 10 inches long and 4 inches thick. She had a habit of chewing on her hair. They removed it but she later died from internal bleeding.

I believe that the word for which you search is ‘bezoar’. While no exclusively a hairball, it is a gastric or intestinal mass. Normally associated with ruminants, bezoars were once considered an antidote to poison.

See also http://www.straightdope.com/columns/950811.html


“The intellectuals’ chief cause of anguish are one another’s works.”
Jacques Barzun
Cheers! CAL

In a years-old Omni magazine, I read about a guy who had the habit of chewing on disposable coffee cups. He swallowed teeny bits of styrofoam, which collected in his stomach. After many years of this, he ended up with a glasslike bezoar more than 8 inches across.

Oh, my God…I’m not joking…I do this all the time…I chew on and eat styrofoam cup rims, coffee stirers, coffee lid pieces…(I know, I’m nuts). Where does this stuff collect? I just thought it kinda passed through…That’s one habit I’m gonna kick…Guess I’m gonna have to go back to smoking crack…


An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Zette;

ROTFLMAO!

Smoking crack, indeed!


“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

There is actually a name for this syndrome…eating one’s own hair. I cannot remember what it is, but the person afflicted winds up with bare patches on one’s scalp. Very sad compulsion…okay, medical ones, what is it called???
Typer

WAG - trichophagia?

I wonder what the name for my affliction is? Cupastirafoama?
or just plain old OCD? lol!


An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

Zette, What’s that stuff taste like?