A man admitted to a Chhattisgarh hospital with severe stomach pain was found to have swallowed around 6 kg of iron objects, including hundreds of coins and fishnet pellets.
Kuleshwar Singh, 28, was on Sunday taken to the Shristi Institute of Medical Science and Research Centre in Korba town, around 220 km north of here, after complaining of recurring abdominal pain for three months.
Sonography and X-ray could not reveal more than an intestinal blockage and a few lumps in the stomach.
So doctors decided to conduct a surgery, and what they found left them baffled. Surgeons removed 421 coins, 197 fishnet pellets, three keys and 19 bolts of bicycle chain in a three-hour operation.
"We were astonished to find the almost six kg of iron objects, most of which seem to have rusted, in his stomach," said Dr SN Yadav, who operated the patient.
Doctors suspect Singh is suffering from a psychological or an eating disorder.
"We have reasonable grounds to believe that the patient is either suffering from schizophrenia or a rare condition called pica, which creates an unusual desire to eat non-nutritional items," Yadav said.
Singh did not tell us why he was consuming small iron objects."Singh's relatives are trying to ascertain why and since when he began swallowing iron objects. His wife Kusum said her husband had consulted a couple of doctors to seek relief from persistent abdominal pain.
"The doctors who we had approached earlier had told us that the stomach ailment was a manifestation of some other problem. They didn't tell us he was suffering due to his mental condition," Kusum said.
Singh's condition is stable. "But he must consider himself very lucky as the iron objects have not caused any major damage to his food-pipe and stomach," Yadav said.