A woman who is addicted to eating toilet roll says she gets through around 75 sheets of the stuff every single day, with her mum claiming it is ‘like crack’ to her.
Kesha, who lives in the US city of Chicago, was featured on TLC show My Strange Addiction because she has a condition called xylophagia - an eating disorder that concerns consumption of paper.
The 34-year-old has been munching loo roll pretty well every single day for 23 years.
She believes that her compulsion comes from a childhood trauma that she suffered in sixth grade when she moved out of her house and in with her grandmother and aunt, but she can’t shake the habit these days.
“I think I crave it because I love the way the toilet paper feels on my tongue, how it dissolves when it hits my tongue,” she said.
She admits that she has a ‘hard time going to the bathroom’ if she eats too much, and says that she experiences ‘stomach cramps’.
Kesha also says that she prefers two-ply rolls because they are ‘easier to digest’.
Her worried mother said: “Every time I'd see Kesha, she'd have tissue in her hand and she'd try to hide it behind her back.
“If you tried to take it from her she'd get upset. I've never been able to understand why she eats tissue, and I never will."
However, there are real problems with this habit, as psychiatrist Kimm Dennis told her on the show.
She said: "If your intestines rupture inside your abdomen, that could be fatal, and could be fatal pretty quickly.
“You’re putting your body at risk and really playing Russian roulette with your life."
Eating paper is obviously not a usual thing to do, and it can definitely be dangerous for you, though it might not ultimately be fatal.
The desire to eat things and craving for things that aren’t food is known as pica, which comes from the Latin word for magpie.
Whilst most commonly noticed in pregnant people, it can exhibit in others, as we can see from this case.
In Kesha’s case, she was unaware that her condition was potentially damaging to her health until speaking with Kimm Dennis, but hopefully will have found help to stop her putting herself at risk as a result of her strange addiction.
If you've been affected by any of the issues in this article and would like to speak with someone in confidence, call the BEAT Eating Disorders helpline on 0808 801 0677. Helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, you can try the one-to-one webchat.
Featured Image Credit: TLC
Topics: US News, Weird, Food And Drink, Health