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Other Health Topics

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Some people liken the human body to a car engine. It takes in fuel, uses water, makes odd noises, and pollutes the environment with waste. But I tend to think of the human body as a home-as your home. When you think about the similarities between bodies and homes, the two have many striking things in common. Your house and body are both important investments. They both provide shelter to invaluable personal property. And they're both places you want to protect with all your power. That's the big picture.

    Internally, your bones are the 2-by-4s that support and protect the inner structure of your home. Your eyes are the windows. Your lungs are the ventilation ducts. Your brain is the fuse box. Your intestines are the plumbing system. Your mouth is the garbage disposal. Your heart is the water main. Your hair is the lawn (some of us have more grass than others). And your fat is all the unnecessary junk you've stored in the attic that your spouse has been nagging you to get rid of. Of course, your forehead probably doesn't have a street number, and a two-story brick Colonial doesn't look all that good in a bathing suit.

    The same analogy applies when it comes to preventing problems and keeping your house in good shape. In fact, most smart people take the same approach to basic body maintenance and home repairs. You don't call the plumber if you have a little back-up in your pipes. You try a plunger, lift the back off the toilet, fiddle with the floating ball, and try to remedy the problem yourself. You don't call the exterminator when you spot a fly in the kitchen. You don't call the electrician if a light bulb burns out. And you don't call the painter if junior decides to play Picasso on your living room wall.

    You rely on yourself to maintain control over how your house ages-because you know it's less expensive to prevent problems and treat minor ones than to let everything deteriorate to the point where your house needs a major overhaul to function properly.
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    Your bezoar may go away, depending on its size. If your bezoar is less than two centimeters in diameter, it can probably fit through the openings in your stomach, small intestine, and colon, and can pass through your body. If your bezoar is larger than that, it will need to be broken up or removed.

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    You can get a bezoar more than once. If you ingest substances that your body cannot digest, a mass can form in your stomach or intestines. You are also more likely to have problems with bezoars getting stuck in your body repeatedly if you have diabetes or if your stomach or intestines have been surgically altered.

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    A bezoar is a mass of something that your body cannot break down, or digest. It gets stuck in the stomach or intestinal tract.

    A bezoar can be made of many different things. It commonly contains hair or similar fibers, such as from carpet or clothing.

    Another type of bezoar consists of the parts of plant material that cannot be dissolved by the body, such as fibers from celery, prunes or sunflower seeds.

    A third type forms from parts of medicines.
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    People with diabetes are more likely to develop bezoars. This is because people with diabetes can sometimes have a syndrome in which not all of their food leaves the stomach. The food that remains in the stomach can accumulate and form into a mass, or bezoar.

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    You can develop a bezoar as an adult. Adults can develop bezoars if they have diabetes or if they ingest too many antacid tablets, which build up in the stomach. Adults can also develop bezoars if they have had surgery to remove part of the stomach or intestines.

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    Bezoars can be serious. They may directly irritate the gastrointestinal tract, causing ulcers, pain or bleeding. They may be large enough to block food and fluid from passing. Early signs of a serious bezoar could be:
    • loss of appetite
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • weight loss
    Intense pain, severe vomiting or passing of blood may mean that the problem has become serious enough to require surgery.
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    There are several treatment options for removing bezoars. If your bezoar is causing symptoms and will not pass on its own, your doctor will suggest methods to help it break down so it can pass through your body. Your doctor may suggest that you try a liquid diet to help pass your bezoar. You may also need to or drink cellulase or meat tenderizer mixed with liquid to help break down your bezoar. In addition, your doctor may manually break up your bezoar with a laser or forceps. If your bezoar is large, your doctor may surgically remove it.

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    In order to pass through the openings of the digestive system, bezoars need to be smaller than three-quarters of an inch, or two centimeters, in diameter. Some are small enough to pass through the body. About 75% need to be broken up or surgically removed by a doctor.

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    A bezoar, a collection of material in the stomach, esophagus, or intestines, is caused by hair, fibers, medications, or other indigestible materials. The swallowed material gets caught in the curves or small openings of the stomach and digestive tract. It remains there and forms a bezoar.