Pica is a eating disorder that involves people eating things such as paint, dirt, rubber, insulation, or other items that have no nutritional value. People with certain mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder may develop pica as a coping mechanism. Some people may even enjoy and crave the textures or flavors of certain nonfood items. In some cultures, eating clay is an accepted behavior. People with Pica could eat harmless things such as grass, or ice but also could eat potentially harmless things such as dried up paint, or loose metal which could cause blockages in the intestinal tract which could lead to dehydration, vomiting, and shock. This condition usually occurs in young children or pregnant women and usually is just a temporary condition. Pica causes a lot of nutrient deficiency’s such as iron, zinc and some other different nutrients. In pregnant women you may have Pica and the unusual cravings that you have are deficiency’s of nutrients. Pregnant women can be especially prone to the disorder, which also affects people with learning difficulties such as autism. There is no single cause in Pica there is multiple, people may like the texture of the item, they may also have low nutrient levels, and finally people may start a diet and eventually get down to eating thing with either very little nutrients or no nutrients at all. People who Pica typically affect is very young children who do not know what they are doing and how bad it actually is for you, or also pregnant women because of the hormone change they may start to eat random things, which could seem harmless but could lead to some major long term affects. some signs of Pica are different deficiency’s and also development disorders, kids may not mature as fast or as normal then other people. Treating Pica is no simple task it is not like you can just make them stop eating you may have to lock up different materials, also if you go to a doctor they will first find out what you have been eating by different tests, and after they have they will tell you to either lock them up or remove the item if you can. The doctor may also test if you have an obsession or if it is just a craving to see what they need to do. if you have an obsession you may need to be but in a mental institute or a group home, but if it is just a craving then it still is no easy task but it may be a bit easier to treat. In conclusion Pica is a very serious disorder and if you or someone you know think that you have Pica or even a tiny craving for something it is recommended that you see a doctor.
Scott Helmhold, January 21, 2018, 4 causes and symptoms of Pica: https://www.curejoy.com/content/symptoms-of-pica/
Scott Helmhold, January 21, 2018, Pica Eating Disorder: https://www.news-medical.net/health/Pica-Eating-Disorder-.aspx
Scott Helmhold, January 21, 2018, Mental Health and Pica: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-pica#1
Scott Helmhold, January 21, 2018, What causes Pica: https://www.healthline.com/symptom/pica