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Strange medicine in 2017From a woman who sweats blood to a man with a giant stone in his bladder, a number of intriguing medical cases made headlines in 2017.
As descriptions of individual patients, medical case reports lack the rigor of scientific studies with hundreds or thousands of people. But these reports can help doctors better understand rare diseases or spot unusual signs of common conditions. Case reports may also reveal potentially harmful effects of treatments or procedures.
Here are 10 of the strangest case reports Live Science covered in 2017.
Munching on metalSlide 2 of 21
Munching on metalA 52-year-old man in France was found to have more than 100 pieces of metal in his stomach, including nails, knives, screws and coins.
The man went to the emergency room five times over a five-year period with various symptoms, including stomach pain, nausea and vomiting up blood. Doctors needed to operate on four of those occasions to remove the massive clumps of indigestible material — in this case, metal — known as "bezoars." That includes the occasion when they found the more than 100 metal pieces. These clumps were so large that they prevented the man's stomach from emptying.
The man was diagnosed with psychosis, which means losing touch with reality.
He recovered from his surgeries and was referred to behavioral and mental health providers for further treatment. The case was published Sept. 27 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.Slide 3 of 21
Sweating bloodSlide 4 of 21
Sweating bloodA 21-year-old woman in Italy was diagnosed with a mysterious condition that causes her to sweat blood. The woman periodically experienced bleeding from her face and palms, without any cuts or skin lesions.
While the woman was in the hospital, her doctors observed an episode in which bloodstained fluid oozed from her face. She was diagnosed with hematohidrosis, a rare condition that has been reported just 42 times since 1880.
The cause of the condition is unknown. Some researchers have hypothesized that increased pressure in blood vessels causes blood cells to pass out of the blood vessels and into the ducts of the sweat glands. Other scientists have speculated that the condition may result from the activation of the body's "fight or flight" response, which in rare cases may also cause the rupture of small blood vessels.
A report of the case was published Oct. 23 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.Slide 5 of 21
A dangerous "eyeball tattoo"Slide 6 of 21
A dangerous "eyeball tattoo"A 24-year-old model experienced serious complications after she got an “eyeball tattoo," a procedure that experts say is unsafe.
The model, Catt Gallinger, had purple tattoo ink injected into the white part of her eye, a practice known as "sclera tattooing." But she soon experienced serious symptoms, including blurry vision, eye pain, swelling and the oozing of purple liquid (colored by the tattoo ink) from her eye.
Gallinger was put on medications to help with her eye pain, along with antibiotics and steroids, and she later underwent surgery to remove excess ink from her eye, according to her Facebook posts. Following the surgery, she said her eye finally appeared to be getting better and she was experiencing less pain than before.
Some of the risks of eyeball tattoos include vision loss or blindness, infection from the ink, sensitivity to light, and a potential loss of the eyeball, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.Slide 7 of 21
An oversize bladder stoneSlide 8 of 21