A Guy Addicted to Swallowing Metal Had 40 Knives Removed from His Gut

"I just enjoyed its taste and I was addicted."
August 22, 2016, 5:30pm
Not the patient, but another guy with a similar appetite for sharp metal. Photo via Flickr user Teep & Rach

In another bizarre example of a man voluntarily eating something that could completely destroy his internal organs, a 42-year-old police officer in India developed a near-fatal appetite for metal which led him to swallow 40 knives and landed him in emergency surgery last week, the Washington Post reports.

Doctors at the Amritsar Corporate Hospital in Punjab decided to put a small camera down the man's stomach after he came in complaining of abdominal pain. They soon found that he had eaten a ton of pocket knives, along with some seven-inch foldable blades.


"I don't know why I used to swallow knives," the patient told CNN. "I just enjoyed its taste and I was addicted."

Doctors wheeled the guy into surgery and spent the next five hours extracting knife after knife from his abdomen, some folded and others completely rusted. Although he told doctors that he had eaten a paltry 28 knives in the last two months, the surgeons extracted a total of 40 knives by the end of the operation.

"We were so nervous… a small mistake could have taken the patient's life," operating surgeon Dr. Jatinder Malhotra told CNN. "In my 20 years of practice, I have never seen anything like it."

Now armed with a newly knife-free stomach, the man can leave the hospital following a psychological evaluation. While he hasn't yet been diagnosed with any psychological illness yet, swallowing 40 knives sounds a lot like pica—a rare eating disorder in which people develop a compulsion to snack on non-food items. He also could have been just a little iron-deficient.

"We told him if you ever feel like you need more iron in your body, try spinach," Malhotra said.

Read: How My Diabetes Gave Me An Eating Disorder