[Severe obstipation due to eating unshelled sunflower seeds]

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2000 Sep 23;144(39):1878-9.
[Article in Dutch]


In two boys aged 13 and 6 years respectively obstipation and a paradoxical diarrhoea developed four days after consumption of unshelled sunflower seeds. The cause was impaction of the unshelled sunflower seeds in the rectum. Both patients required general anaesthesia to remove the sunflower seeds via proctoscopy. It is known that eating unshelled sunflower seeds can cause impaction of the shells in the rectum (causing a bezoar). Removing the seeds under general anaesthesia is practically always necessary. Considering the serious symptoms and the invasive consequences which are not without risks, parents and children should be warned about the danger of eating unshelled sunflower seeds.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Bezoars / etiology*
  • Child
  • Helianthus*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery
  • Male
  • Proctoscopy
  • Seeds / adverse effects*
  • Severity of Illness Index