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Indian man ate 39 coins, 37 magnets because he thought ‘zinc helps in bodybuilding’

He was a magnetic man of steel.

Doctors at a New Delhi hospital removed 39 coins and 37 magnets from a man’s intestine after he swallowed the metals under the assumption that ”zinc helps in bodybuilding.”

X-rays taken before the surgery inside Sir Ganga Ram Hospital show massive metal clots forming in the 26-year-old’s intestines after he spent several weeks ingesting the coins while undergoing treatment for an undisclosed psychiatric condition, the ANI news wire reports.

The patient, who was not publicly named, believed he could absorb zinc from the 39 coins he ate — and thought eating the magnets would aid in that process.

X-rays from a 26-year-old patient in New Delhi show large metallic clots forming in his intestines after he ate dozens of coins and magnets. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
Doctors pulled out a total of 39 coins and 37 magnets from the man’s stomach and intestines. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

Doctors learned the extent of what he had done when he arrived at the emergency room with complaints of vomiting and abdominal pain that had gone on for more than 20 days.

The coins and magnets had caused intestinal obstruction in his body, prompting an immediate surgical procedure to remove the metals.

The surgeons noted that the magnets and coins had lumped together into two separate loops in the small intestine, with the magnetic force leading them to lock and cause an erosion along the intestinal wall.

Fortunately, the doctors were able to open the intestines and remove all the coins and magnets. A large amount of the metals were also found in his stomach and promptly removed.

The man allegedly believed he could absorb the zinc from the coins to aid in bodybuilding. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

Officials noted that some of the magnets recovered from the man’s body were shaped like a heart, sphere, bullet, triangle and star.

A post-surgery X-ray confirmed that all the metals were successfully removed from the 26-year-old’s stomach and intestines.

The patient spent seven days in the hospital recovering from the procedure before he was discharged.

Doctors uncovered the problem when the patient arrived at the hospital over stomach pains and vomiting. Hindustan Times via Getty Images

While the man allegedly believed the coins would give him a boost in zinc, consuming such a large amount of the metal can result in zinc toxicity, according to Poison Control.

When zinc-containing coins are ingested, the acidic fluids in the stomach can cause “zinc to leach from the coins,” which could lead to stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting.

In severe cases, zinc toxicity can even result in death.

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