A teenager in Ulan-Ude, Southern Russia, had something else in her stomach aside from food: a 20-inch ball of hair! The 19-year-old was complaining about severe stomach pains and had to be sent at the nearest hospital in the East Siberian city.

According to local news, the woman whose name was withheld for privacy was vomiting after meals and was lethargic in the past few days. After a thorough medical examination, doctors were dumbfounded when they found 4.4lbs of hair stuck in the teen's gut.

The bezoar (a term for a solid mass of indigestible material) had accumulated over time, causing significant discomfort and pain. Local physicians also discovered an ulcer in her intestines, according to reports.

depressed girl
A report by Cross Blue Shield Association suggested women of all age groups are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. Elva Etienne/ gettyimages

During the surgical operation to remove the solid mass, surgeons were able to pull out a ball of hair that was measured at 50x10x10 centimeters.

Bator Dondokov, the head of the surgical team at the Ulan-Ude hospital, said that "things like that can begin with an innocent habit of chewing on your hair."

He added that young girls are most at risk, with the swallowed hair potentially causing a lot of medical anomalies. The teenager's mother said that her daughter is recovering from the ordeal and is almost back to full health.

People who swallow their hair are said to have a psychiatric disorder called "trichophagia." Although uncommon, many people in the world (mostly women) suffer from the disease.

The term trichophagia refers to the compulsive eating of hair. In 2017, a 25-year-old woman also had 3.3 lbs of wool removed from her stomach. In the same year, a similar case was also recorded in Mumbai.

The rare condition is also referred to as the Rapunzel syndrome. The disorder is closely associated with the hair-pulling dysfunction called trichotillomania. Trichophagia sufferers also eat the hair of other people.