Gastrocolitis, Valbuminitus and Lumpuckaroo
March 4, 2009 11:27 PM   Subscribe

Ever heard of a disease where you grow thorns that vibrate when cut off?

Long ago I heard a list of funny-sounding diseases. My spelling may be off, because I heard and did not read them. They were gastrocolitis, valbuminitus and lumpuckaroo. The first I've confirmed as real. The third I've confirmed as "the blahs." The second I've not confirmed at all.

What's more, it seems I was told of a disease in which a person grows black thorns from their skin which when cut off - vibrate.

Now I've been told a bunch of stuff in my life. I've also told plenty of fibs myself. I'm not saying the vibrating thorn disease is real, or that it is called valbuminitus. But I'd like to find the origin of this story if possible. Thanks for helping, metafilter.
posted by eccnineten to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Cutaneous horn. I wouldn't think they would vibrate when cut off.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:34 PM on March 4, 2009

On the whole, people don't tend to grow thorns. Warts, horns, callouses and so on, but not thorns.

However, depending on who you believe, some people grow wire or, possibly, threads (see Morgellon's Disease). This is generally pooh-poohed as self-inflicted Munchausen's Syndrome craziness but I do recall an article in New Scientist (which I read on paper and cannot find for free online) that postulated an actual biological cause.
posted by ninazer0 at 2:24 AM on March 5, 2009

Oho...a link for the New Scientist article. Bless Google cache!!
posted by ninazer0 at 2:29 AM on March 5, 2009

FYI, there is a man in Indonesia who has suffered from an extreme case of cutaneous horn exacerbated by an immune deficiency.

I couldn't find anything resembling the word "valbuminitis" via Google or medical database searches. No doubt you are already aware that the albumen is an egg white, and albumins are proteins related to those found in egg whites, which are ovalbumins. Though egg allergies are common, I couldn't find anything suggesting a medical condition caused by them other than hives or eczema.
posted by dhartung at 9:28 AM on March 5, 2009

Best answer: I remember reading (in some sort of book of trivia) about an extreme form of keratosis that grows horns or spines on the skin. The horns, once snipped off and placed in a can or bottle, apparently make "a metallic rattling sound" when shaken. Could that be it?
posted by Iridic at 12:15 PM on March 5, 2009

Response by poster: Iridic gets best answer. Who knows what it was I really read so long ago and whether it was true or not. I probably did read it and it probably isn't true. Thanks for playing, all!
posted by eccnineten at 8:03 PM on May 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

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