When doctors encounter weird or Bizarre medical cases, they sometimes decide to publish a case report. Case reports are meant to add to scientific research, or help other doctors who might encounter the same strange symptoms in the future. But for those who aren’t doctors, case reports illuminate the limits and the mysteries of the human body. Some also serve as highly effective cautionary tales.
From Sudoku seizures to a twisted esophagus, these crazy medical cases are sure to keep you on edge.
1. Pornography Headaches: Most of us are guilty of stumbling upon porn or sexually attractive content, but imagine getting constant vigorous headaches while being turned on?
Well that was the case of a frustrated man in India who went to doctors complaining that he got a headache every time he watched pornography. The pain started five minutes into a video, and peaked after eight to 10 minutes.
Most sufferers develop a sudden headache at the point of orgasm. Less often, the primary sex headache will emerge slowly as sexual arousal heightens. But the man in India had quite the unusual case because his sex headaches only appeared while watching videos, not during masturbation and not during sexual activity, according to the case report published in 2012. Doctors think that muscle contractions in the neck and jaw may trigger primary sex headaches. Others theorize nerves or blood vessels in the head become overly sensitive to the sexual response. However, the cause remains a mystery.
2. Sudoku Seizures: A young man in Germany completed so many Sudoku puzzles (a logic game that may help sharpen memory) that he began having seizures.
Of course, that’s only part of the story. The man had been an avid Sudoku solver for some time before experiencing such seizures, but that changed after he was trapped in an avalanche during a ski trip. He suffered from a condition known as Hypoxia in which the body tissues and brain don’t receive enough oxygen.
However, a few weeks after he was discharged from the hospital, the man began having seizures in his left arm again … but only when he did Sudoku puzzles.
Eventually, doctors got to the root of the problem: The man had a very intense “three-dimensional imagination” that was activated whenever he did these brain-stimulating puzzles. The part of his brain that he used when thinking about things in 3D happened to be the part of his brain that was most affected by his 15 minutes of oxygen deprivation under the snow. Overactivating this damaged part of his brain was what caused the man’s seizures. Unfortunately, he had to give up Sudoku in order to make a full recovery.
3. Twisted Esophagus: An 87-year-old woman in Switzerland sought medical help when she developed painful spasms every time she swallowed. Imaging and X-rays revealed her esophagus twisted up like a corkscrew whenever she ate. The condition caused her to lose 11 pounds (5 kilograms) over the course of several months, according to the case report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May.
Muscle spasms are to blame for this type of pain. Instead of contracting and relaxing in a series from the mouth to the stomach, the muscles within this woman’s esophagus contracted simultaneously, said Dr. John Pandolfino of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
There is no cure for the condition.
4. Hairy Eyeballs: Your eyeball is certainly one place you don’t want to grow hair. A young Iranian man knew that since birth, he had a benign tumor on his eye, just below his pupil. But by the time he was 19, the tumor had grown to about a quarter inch thick (0.64 centimeters), and started sprouting hair.
The tumor was a limbal dermoid. Although this type of tumor isn’t typically cancerous, it can grow cartilage, hair and sometimes even sweat glands. Not everyone with these tumors wants or needs them removed.
However, doctors did remove the hairy tumor from the man’s eye, according to the case report published in January in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Weird cases right?