She swallows silverware whole??

United States
October 31, 2009 3:42pm CST
I was reading on the AOL news today of a woman who went to the doctor's office with a stomach ache. Due to a mysterious disease called "pica disease," this woman had eaten silverware numerous times. The disease is said to cause irresistable urges in people to eat strange things: dirt, clay, soap, and yes, silverware. An xray revealed multiple forks and spoons in the woman's stomach, and surgeons removed dozens of them! She is alive, but can you imagine? She must have swallowed them whole. The disease is thought to be related to a deficiency in a person's system, and is sometimes seen most often in pregnant women. Have you ever heard of this or known anyone who had pica disease or gave in to strange cravings? More strange and mysterious diseases can be found here: http://www.aolhealth.com/health/mysterious-illness
6 people like this
19 responses
• Australia
1 Nov 09
It boggles the mind. I think that if I found myself swallowing a fork, I would go see a doctor. If I swallowed a second one, I most certainly would - or more likely, a psychiatrist! It is a wonder she didn't rupture something. I wonder if she rattled when she walked? Amazing!
@tigeraunt (6331)
• Philippines
1 Nov 09
hi cloudwatcher, i laughed reading your response to karen. rattled while she walked.. yes, it made me imagine. ann
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hi Cloud. Well it boggles my mind, too, but yes, now that you mention it, seems she'd have clattered or rattled when she walked lol. I know I can hear a sloshing noise sometimes when I drink a lot of water. I shouldn't have laughed as this is a disease, but I couldn't help it! People do the craziest things. I hope they help her resolve this morbid craving! Karen
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
1 Nov 09
Hi Karen! Thanks for sharing the strange story, it makes an interesting reading. I have also heard about these kind of activities. Sometimes I saw on TV some programmes, wherein it was shown that a man would swallow blades and nails. A man was also shown swallowing fire with ease. It all looks amazing and strange to me.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hi Deepak. I've seen those same things on TV, and I always wonder: what prompted them to take that route to astonish and entertain others??? Very strange indeed, and they do not even have the compulsion to do so driven by disease! Karen
@dpk262006 (56599)
• Delhi, India
2 Nov 09
Hi Karen! It is not known to us whether they do it due to any disease or they just want to earn this way and wish to impress others by doing something extra-ordinary.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 09
It does make one wonder who first said: I think I'll try swallowing a sword, or perhaps some fire. LOL
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
2 Nov 09
I can't see how she could possibly swallow a fork whole...there are bends in the back of the throat and just before the stomach. I'd think she would have punctured a hole somewhere along the line. I've never known anyone to have this disorder thankfully. [b]!!Happy Turkey Day!! ~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 09
Hi Twoey. (I love your signature saying, by the way.) This is true, but then as several have mentioned, there are those who actually swallow the blade of a sword in circus shows, or even fire. I have no clue how she would have done it, but since the reporting came from a reliable source, it must somehow be possible. It makes me shiver, though, just to think about it! Karen
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
3 Nov 09
Oh, I'm not doubting that she did it just that it's impossible to imagine how she did it without major damage or dying. I saw the postings about sword swallowing but those ppl have years and years of training and there is a certain way of doing it...I know I couldn't do it LOL Well, I would definately recommend that this woman not go through airport security LOL [b]!!Happy Turkey Day!! ~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Nov 09
Heaven help us, can you imagine the alarms that would set off? And then the trouble they'd have finding the cause? LOL
@angelajoy (1839)
• Philippines
1 Nov 09
Pica disease? This is the first time that I've heard of this disease. It's really weird. So people who have this disease crave for things that shouldn't be eaten? I can't imagine what would happen to me if I'd have that disease. I remember reading the book "The Boy Who Ate Fear Street" when I was young. The story was about a boy who suddenly wanted to eat things that were not food. He ate glue, fleas, and all sorts of dirty stuff. But he didn't have the pica disease. It turned out that he was just a doll and that he malfunctioned when he ate spicy food.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hi Angela. Yes, it is one of those weird diseases that we don't hear a lot about because they're, thankfully, quite rare. I've read about those who crave and eat soap or dirt or clay, but until now, I hadn't heard of someone craving silver ware. Bizarre, to say the least. That sounds like a very interesting book, by the way! Karen
1 person likes this
@angelajoy (1839)
• Philippines
5 Nov 09
I don't know if you would find this book fun to read because it's a children's book. I read it when I was young. It's a book by R.L. Stine. You're probably familiar with him. He's the author of the best-selling series Fear Street, Ghosts of Fear Street, Goosebumps, etc. He's quite popular.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Nov 09
I do recognize the Goosebumps title. Actually, many children's books are very interesting, even to adults :)
• India
8 Dec 09
Hello my friend PeacefulWmn9 Ji, AS a woman (we both), understand strage changes akingplace as we approach our labour hour. My hubby is oF the view that 'EVERY WOMEN TAKES RE-BIRTH AFTER EVERY DELIEVERY' I have seen women at this time consumig cow-dung as well, broken bangles and all rubbish (we call). I am happy taht yopu have added andintroduced me with this name 'Pica'. May God bless You and have great time.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Dec 09
Yes, my friend, we do get some cravings. Most of us, thank goodness, crave a real food, but I have heard of many women eating very strange things like chicken dung or laundry soap. I was glad to learn the name of this stange thing, as well! God bless you, Karen
1 person likes this
• India
9 Dec 09
Hello my friend PeacefulWmn9 Ji, So nice of you, I am with your feelings. We should always be ready to hear something new. I remember, my hubby's eldest brother wife, used toscratchall her body 15 days earlier and make lot of peculiar noise. But some are quiet and prepae themselves for 'D' hour. May god bless You and have a great time.
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
1 Nov 09
No, i have never heard of the disease. That's horrible. Not to sound ugly but i wouldn't want her comiong to dinner at my house.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 09
I wouldn't want to have her over for dinner, either. There would go the family silverware! :) Have a beautiful day, Jo. Karen
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
2 Nov 09
Thanks Karen, U have a great day to. jo
1 person likes this
@Canellita (12058)
• United States
2 Nov 09
I have seen this portrayed in TV shows where the person is xrayed and has all kinds of crap in them, but usually they were potrayed to be psychiatric patients addicted to procedures. Either way, you gotta be glad you're not afflicted as such!
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 09
Hello Canellita...yes, I would think that could be an element of what prompts someone to swallow strange things. But then there is the theory of the medical world that it signifies a lack of something essential in the persons system. Whatever the cause, as you said, I'm glad not to be afflicted with it! I gag on large vitamins sometimes lol. Karen
@solared (1210)
• United States
1 Nov 09
Seems like to me, this woman should become a sword swallower...lol
• United States
1 Nov 09
Well, Solared, that wouldn't be too removed from swallowing forks, would it?? Hopefully they've by now figured out with mineral or such she's lacking, can give her that, and she'll quit swallowing such dangerous things! Karen
@Kowgirl (3491)
• United States
1 Nov 09
Years ago before they had a name for this strange disease I heard of a woman who ... ugh! would eat the white part of chicken droppings. The family had to get rid of the chickens because the doctor told them that would be the only way to stop this strange eating disorder. Then she went to eating the dirt in the yard. It was at least 3 years later that they found a doctor that said she was using dirt for a much needed chemical, mineral or vitamin she was missing in her diet. Once they started giving her the minerals and vitamins her body craved she stopped eating these strange non food things.Now most doctors will figure out what mineral or vitamin a person is missing from their diet and suggest that take a daily supplement. There must be something in the eating utensils her body craves. I just can't understand how she can swallow a whole fork! Then again I can't see how those men in the circus can swallow a sword.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hello Kowgirl. How very strange! But that does seem to be the most logical explanation doctors have, that these people are lacking something vital in their system that compels them to eat strange things to acquire it. Hopefully, if they find what the woman I mentioned is lacking and give her that mineral, she will no longer swallow silverware. Like you, that seemed to me...how can she get those down?? But I also, like you, thought of the sword swallowers I've seen on TV. Thank you for sharing that information! Karen
@hotsummer (10467)
• Philippines
1 Nov 09
how in the world was she able to swallow that silverware whole. that just seem to be too impossible. the pain it may cause the person just to gulp it down. wow. that is really unbelievable. i pity that woman for the pain that she goes through every time she had to swallow something big just because of this unresistable urge to swallow anything.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hello Summer It does seem beyond imagining, yes? But then I've seen at circuses those who swallow swords, and in other incidents, things that seem impossible to most of us, but they do it as acts of entertainment, not because they feel an unstoppable compulsion to do so. Pica is one of those rare diseases that even doctors and scientists do not fully understand, but the lady swallowing silverware is not the only case. I've read of others off and on through the years that have this condition. I also feel sad for these people. Karen
@Iriene88 (5352)
• Malaysia
1 Nov 09
Dear Karen, That's strange and weird too. This world at times filled with strange phenomena, beyond understanding! Went and read the information at the link provided. I remembered there are people who eat sands, soaps and pebbles too. Thanks for sharing :)
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hi Iriene, We do live in a world where strange things go on. Eating pebbles or soap and such doesn't sound nearly as bizarre as the silverware thing. It amazes what the human body survives. Thank you for checking out the link :) Karen
@syndrix (475)
• Malaysia
1 Nov 09
It's true this incident also happen somewhere in the mentally hospital where many insane swallowed not only silverware but a three (3) inch nail. Can you imagine that ? Its hard to imagined but this incident happened and true people will still be alive though swallowed a three inch nail. I think video is available in youtube.
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hi Syndrix. Nails, too?? Ack. Can you imagine? The part that shocks me is that these things go down without doing serious injury. I'll have to check on youtube to see if I can find that! I have heard of pets swallowing odd things like balls and socks, or kids who swallow marbles and coins, though. Quite common, unlike these bizarre things like nails and silverware! Karen
• Boston, Massachusetts
1 Nov 09
This is really strange and hilarious. I can't imagine that x-ray thing with all those "things" inside her stomach. This is the first time that i've heard about this and that this thing is really happening-- and that is a disease. Thanks. This is new to me. Thanks.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hello Ms...I've heard bits and pieces about it through the years, but not about someone swallowing eating utensils. Now, that had to hurt! I'm still amazed she survived...not the surgery so much as having gotten all those things down and then leaving them there for so long before getting help. Ouch! Karen
@jerimiyah (232)
• Philippines
1 Nov 09
that is pretty mess up. i hope they find a cure and eradicate it.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
You've got that right, Jeri...I also hope they can help her and others like her. I'm surprised that didn't kill her. Can you imagine? Take care. Karen
@tigeraunt (6331)
• Philippines
1 Nov 09
hi karen, i find that very weird - eating other things that are not supposed to be eaten. do you think these peaple think of the consequences? ann
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 09
Hi Anne. I think we all get cravings, but normally it's for actual food. I think they might consider the consequences, but according to what I read of this disease, the urge is beyond what the person can control, and is likely to be related to some nutrient missing in their system. But honestly, for one thing, how on earth can anyone swallow that much silverware whole? Or stand the taste of laundry detergent or soil or other things craved with this disease?? It's beyond me! Karen
@thea09 (18327)
• Greece
31 Oct 09
Hi Karen, I've heard of people eating strange things and even having things removed from their stomachs such as scissors, but I really can't imagine swallowing a fork, how on earth does it go down?
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 09
I wondered the same thing, Thea. Ugh! She must have swallowed those handle first, or the tines would have shredded her to bits on the way down. The xray shows a big white blob, with only some of the tines visible, since she had swallowed dozens over a period of time before seeking help. Some of those they surgically removed appear to have begun to corrode from the stomach acid. But the pain! I can only imagine. Karen
@Hatley (164448)
• Garden Grove, California
31 Oct 09
hi peacefulwmn9 oh yes when I was a little kid in the third grade there was a boy who ate library paste and one who loved to nibble the erasers off his pencils, and one more who ate dirt when we were on the playground. Years later I read about this disease and realized that was what those three kids all had, this pica disease.I am trying to wrap my mind around this lady who swallows silverware.wow that must be hard on her tummy for sure. I am glad I have no strange cravings. all I did when I was pregnant was crave ice cream and grapefruit.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 09
Hi Hatley. Now that I think about it, my youngest daughter always took bites out of the bar of Ivory soap when I bathed her. She was a toddler, and seemed to love it. (cringe) The matter was simple enough...I kept all bars of soap out of her reach. Paste eaters...I've seen a few, but never knew of one who ate erasers. I've heard years ago of this disease in pregnant woman because of a depletion of something in their system, as baby and mother share mom's bodily resources. But yes, it is a rare but very real disease. This same piece had pictures of other strange impalements and swallowed items people had survived...totally amazing! Like you, anything I craved while pregnant was food only! Karen
@Jennlk84 (4219)
• United States
31 Oct 09
WOW. Never heard of that one!!! That's pretty crazy. I don't know how a person could even get a fork down! Did she really wonder WHY she had a stomach ache? lol I'll have to go read the article you posted. That's crazy.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 09
Hi Jenn. I wondered about the same thing, but then there are trained and well-practiced sword swallows. But I cannot imagine swallowing any such thing! I'm surprised at how many they surgically removed from her, or that she lived through it! It seems the human body is fragile and tough all at the same time. Karen
• Brazil
31 Oct 09
This is some messed up disease. i hope no one in my familly actually have or get it and i hope that if there is anyone on yours suffering for that, I really hope this person get better quick.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Oct 09
Hi Logan Thankfully, the disease is rare, but whatever the person craves, it seems they do not have the power to stop themselves eating it! If she has a deficiency, perhaps some mineral lacking in her system, I imagine they will try to curb her compulsion by bringing the levels up to normal. Like you, I hope no one in our families ever suffer with that! Ugh. Karen