Hyalophagia is the eating or chewing of glass. The
condition is very dangerous because the sharpness of
the glass can cut the tongue, mouth, throat, stomach,
and intestine. The intestine is a tube shaped structure
that is part of the digestive tract. Sometimes, inner
organs such as the intestine can be perforated (cut
open). The intestines can also become obstructed and
feces can become impacted, meaning that it is
impacted (hard, dry, and difficult to pass).
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In severe cases, these adverse consequences require surgery (e.g., to repair a
perforated intestine and remove glass objects). In worst case scenarios, the damage
caused by hyalophagia can be deadly. Hyalophagia is an abnormal behavior that is
sometimes done for entertainment value for magic acts and related sideshow
performances. However, in the field of medicine, hyalophagia is considered to be a
characteristic of pica.  Pica is the developmentally inappropriate consumption of non-
nutritive substances. Pica can occur in cases of mental retardation, schizophrenia, and
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Schizophrenia is a type of mental disorder in
which one loses contact with reality. OCD is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by
compulsive behaviors performed in response to obsessive thoughts. Hyalophagia can be
triggered by stress, vitamin deficiency, and mineral deficiency. Hyalophgia is also known
as hyalophagy. Hyalophagia comes from the Greek word "hyalos" meaning "glass," and
the Greek word "phago" meaning "to eat." Put the words together and you get "the eat
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