An 18-year-old from Kyrgyzstan, Ayperi Alekseeva, recently went to doctors complaining that she couldn't manage to eat or drink anything, not even water. It led to weight loss and malnutrition, and could've been fatal, reports the Telegraph, but doctors performed an X-ray and discovered what was wrong: She had nine pounds of hair stuck in her digestive tract.
"We realized we needed to operate immediately," Bahadir Bebezov of Bishkek Hospital told reporters. "In fact, her stomach was so badly swollen from hair...that it literally just oozed out soon as the wall of the stomach was cut."
The teenager reportedly ate hair from her head along with hair from the wool carpet of her family's home.
It's not unprecedented. This compulsive syndrome has a name, "trichophagia," and in 2007 U.S. doctors reported finding an even larger, 10-pound hairball inside the stomach of an American 18-year-old.
Trichotillomania is a serious disorder. Learn more at The Trichotillomania Learning Center Trich.org, and check out mtvU's Half Of Us for resources and links to help on mental and emotional health issues.