Above: An X ray reveals a metal spoon that has been swallowed by the patient.
Pica is a medical disorder which compels a person to eat non-nutritive objects or substances. Pica is often a side-effect of pregnancy, when a woman’s body needs more vitamins and minerals. A pregnant woman will sometimes crave sand, ash or wood, “foods” that would normally not interest them. This craving is due to the body’s need for nutrients that are found in these substances.
Pica has also been attributed to mental illness. Pica is often only part of a more obvious disorder, and has often been linked to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Mental health patients will sometimes swallow any item that is small enough to fit into their mouth, as a trip to the hospital to have the object removed means a change of scene for the patient. The image below shows a college created by a mental health patient suffering from Pica, using the foreign objects that the patient had swallowed.
X Rays of Swallowed Objects
X Rays of Objects Swallowed by Animals
Humans are not the only ones who swallow foreign objects. Dogs, cats and snakes are known to gobble up a variety of things. Dogs often swallow foreign objects, though these are usually items such as sand, small stones and twigs that pass naturally through the animal’s body. The images below, however, show X rays of dogs who have managed to swallow, between them, a rubber ducky, a toy cat, a spoon, a plush toy dog, and a Christmas decoration.
A Marriage Proposal X Ray
Swallowed in Safety
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