FAQ - bezoars
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Are tonsilloliths distantly related to bezoars or similar to them in any way?

I just saw a question about bezoars (Which I think are bits of calcified food waste found in cattle, goats and so on) and it got me thinking about tonsilloliths (Apparently calcified waste in humans, except it can be coughed up.... unlike bezoars).

Ummmm.... yeah.

if you don't know what they are, Google/dictionary/Wikipedia them.

No, because tonsilloliths are *NOT* calcified. They are calcareous which is completely different.  (+ info)

what is the best way to manage gastroparesis and stop the formation of bezoars ?

My mother is suffering from this condition and is a type 2 diabetic and is 82. Any help would be appreciated in this matter.

gastroparesis is a form of autonomic diabetic neuropathy.
in our clinic we use alpha lipoic acid (Thiogamma), B vitamins metoclopramide  (+ info)

Can you get a bezoar from eating hair in food?

Like, if you accidentally eat hair in your food or accidentally drink it, will you get a bezoar (hairball)?
Also, I sometimes put the tips of my hair in my mouth, but I don't swallow it.
Is there any way that I could get a bezoar?

ah, no. i don't see why a couple pieces of hair would make a hairball. they don't multiply. lol
you need to actually eat hair, and a lot of it, to make a hairball  (+ info)

Can a bezoar or gastric obstruction be diagnosed with abdominal ultrasound?

GI obstruction is usually diagnosed with a CT scan. The sensitivity of abdominal ultrasound is not as good.  (+ info)

An old wives' tale states that chewing gum, if swallowed, may take up to seven years to become fully digested


That swallowing gum could also result in the substance becoming lodged in the esophagus. Chewing gum does resist complete digestion by the body; it is generally expelled like other foods, though relatively unchanged. One urban legend states that some individuals who have been known to swallow chewing-gum regularly and who are predisposed can aid the growth of bezoars within their stomachs or intestines

You don't digest gum - you just poop it out. Like corn. Gross, but true.
I remember my grandma used to tell me that if I swallowed gum, I would fart bubbles.
That did not discourage me from testing that theory.  (+ info)

Is it safe to eat cardboard?

Give me your reason, please. (And don;t worry about me getting a bezoar... I would chew well).

it doesn't digest very well, it's like that little girl who ate cotton. I'd stick to Psyllium Husks from the natural food store - it's packed full of fiber, better than Citrucel and those other things.  (+ info)

what is a bezoar and how does it affect humans?

A bezoar or enterolith is a sort of calculus or concretion, a stone found in the intestines of mostly ruminant animals, but occurring among others including humans. There are several varieties of bezoar, some of which have inorganic constituents and others organic.


Bezoars were formerly sought after because they were believed to have the power of a universal antidote against any poison. It was believed that a drinking glass which contained a bezoar set within would neutralize any poison poured into the glass. The word "bezoar" ultimately comes from the Persian pâdzahr (پادزهر), which literally means "protection from poison." In fact, some types of trichobezoar are apparently able to precipitate or bind arsenic compounds (long used as poison) from a solution.[citation needed]

In 1575, the surgeon Ambroise Paré described an experiment to test the properties of the Bezoar Stone. At the time, the Bezoar stone was deemed to be able to cure the effects of any poison, but Paré believed this was impossible. It happened that a cook at Paré's court was caught stealing fine silver cutlery. In his shame, the cook agreed to be poisoned. He then used the Bezoar stone to no great avail as he died in agony seven hours later.[1] Paré had proved that the Bezoar stone could not cure all poisons as was commonly believed at the time.

A famous case in the common law of England (Chandelor v. Lopus, 79 Eng Rep. 3, Cro. Jac. 4, Eng. Ct. Exch. 1603) announced the rule of caveat emptor, "let the buyer beware" if the goods he purchased are in fact genuine and effective. The case concerned a purchaser who sued for the return of the purchase price of an allegedly fraudulent bezoar. (How the plaintiff discovered that the bezoar did not work is not discussed in the report.) Judicial scepticism over the alleged magical powers of bezoars may well have justified this judgment in this particular case. The ruling, however, was seized on and formed an impediment to the formation of effective consumer protection remedies and the law of implied warranty well into the nineteenth century.

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy notes that persimmons have been identified as causing epidemics of intestinal bezoars, and that up to ninety percent of food boluses that occur from eating too much of the fruit require surgery for removal.

Bezoar pearls

In addition to bivalve pearls, there are a group of sacred natural gemstones largely considered bezoar stones, which were first documented in the Garuda Purana, one of the books of Hindu holy text Atharvaveda. In addition to oyster pearls, also enumerated are the Conch Pearl, Cobra Pearl, Boar Pearl, Elephant Pearl, Bamboo Pearl, Whale Pearl, Fish Pearl, and Cloud Pearl. These pearls were later documented in the treatise Brihat-Samhita ("The Great Compilation") of Varahamihira, the Indian mathematician. The first documented contact with these artifacts by the Western world is described in the sole volume of 18th Century scientist Albertus Seba, entitled Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Therein, a large collection of bezoar stones and non-oyster pearls were hand-sketched, and the collection of these items were on display in a forum which was the precursor of the modern day museum. Today, the original 446-plate volume, part of the greater work Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri Accurata Descriptio, is on permanent exhibit at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague, Netherlands.

While the sacred Nine Pearls of Vedic tradition are typically considered bezoars, the Bamboo Pearl forms in the stem of the Bamboo plant, while others such as the Cloud Pearl have no known formation process. In Indian mythology two famous pearls find mention, the Nag Mani or Snake Pearl and Gaja Mukta or Elephant Pearl. The Nag Mani is believed to be endowed with magical properties and occurs in the mouths of cobras. The Gaja Mukta is believed to occur in the forehead of elephants.

Types of bezoars

* Food boli (singular, bolus) imitate true bezoars and are composed of loose aggregates of food items such as seeds, fruit pith, or pits as well as other types of items such as shellac, bubble gum, soil, and concretions of some medications.
* Pharmacobezoars (or medication bezoars) are mostly tablets or semi-liquid masses of drugs.
* Phytobezoars are composed of nondigestible food material (e.g., cellulose) and are frequently reported in patients with impaired digestion and decreased gastric motility.
* Trichobezoar is a bezoar formed from hair - an extreme form of hairball. Humans who frequently consume hair sometimes require these to be removed. This has also been called Rapunzel syndrome. A trichobezoar in the trachea is called a tracheobezoar.
* Diospyrobezoar is a bezoar formed from persimmons. This type of bezoar is usually seen in humans who have had prior gastric surgery or ailments. These may respond to treatment by dissolution or in some cases surgery.  (+ info)

Diagnosed with a bezoar...?

...and told to take meat tenderizer dissolved in water once daily for 2 weeks.

All I could find was McCormick, but noticed the Dr. recommended Adolph's. McCormick's has bromelain, and Adolph's has papain. Is there any real difference between the two? Will I be okay using the McCormick's or should I go out and try to find Adolph's instead?

Presumably you could just buy and eat some papayas, from which papain is derived.
Or you can buy the papain as a dietary supplement in the health food section.

Bromelain is from pineapples, and I think it works the same way, though.  (+ info)

Can someone please decipher this CT scan diagnosis?

Below is the diagnosis of a abdomen and pelvic CT scan I had done. With all the technical jargon, I have no idea what it means.

1. Findings raise question of constipation with a large amount of stool throughout the colon.

2. Probable ingested meal seen as a filling defect in the stomach but a bezoar is not excluded.

3. Degenerative changes of the SI joints, more advanced on the

CLINICAL INDICATION: Intermittent abdominal pain. Lost 11 pounds in 9 months. Recurrent sciatica.

TECHNIQUE: The patient ingested oral contrast and 100 ml of Omnipaque 350.

FINDINGS: Scanning of the lung bases show no significant infiltrate or effusion. The liver and spleen show no mass. There is no
biliary dilation. The adrenals and pancreas appear normal. The kidneys
show symmetric enhancement without hydronephrosis, mass or stone. There is no retroperitoneal adenopathy. There is a large amount of stool throughout the colon. Filling defect in the stomach is most likely a recent meal but a bezoar is not excluded. Small bowel shows no dilation. There is no ascites.

Bone windows show a probable bone island in the right iliac wing adjacent to the SI joint. There is degenerative change in the SI joints, right greater than left. Degenerative facet changes are seen.
Unfortunately, the CT for the abdomen does not assess nerve roots
well and MRI would be required to further assess the spine. No
presacral mass is seen.

Thanks for your help.

I'm not a doctor, but from what I can understand you are constipated, but only in the lower part of your GI tract. There is something visible that may appear to deform your stomach, but it's probably a meal but could also be some kind of "stone" that formed in your intestine. You have wear and tear in your lower back, where your spine meets the pelvis, and it's worse on the right side, but the CT scan can't tell more. Everything else looks good.  (+ info)

How long does it take to recover from bowel obstruction, resectioning surgery with peritonitis?

I am 47, female and had emergency surgery 2 weeks ago for a bowel obstruction, peritonitis and removal of a bezoar the size of a tennis ball. About how long does it take to start recovering? I'm still having irregular bowel movements and horrible gas pain. But I am passing gas so I guess that's good. Anyone who has any tips to help out with getting the gas to move out better and have a faster bowel movement would be appreciated. Any personal experience you can share with bowel surgery would be really welcomed. Thanks, Kitty

  (+ info)

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