Pica...pica pica

What is pica? This is something that I recently had a patient suffer from it. Watching her face as she was telling me about her desire to eat soap and dishwasher detergent, made me realize how important this is and learned how common it actually is. Have you ever had the urge to eat some thing that you shouldn't be eating? And I'm not talking about wanting to smell certain things like gasoline, glue and other things like that. I'm talking about actually salivating thanking about the taste of dirt in your mouth.

What is pica?

This is a psychological problem where person compulsively swallows non-food items it's very common in children even though sometimes harmless there other things that one swallow can actually be very problematic. I guess and eating disorder and it gets its name from a bird species; that is known for eating unusual objects.


People with pica crave and eat non-food items such as:

  • dirt.

  • clay.

  • rocks.

  • paper.

  • ice.

  • crayons.

  • hair.

  • paint chips.



Who is more likely to suffer from pica?

mainly children, pregnant people and those with certain health conditions like autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability or schizophrenia.



Associated with physical conditions:

People practicing forms of pica, such as geophagy (deliberate consumption of earth, soil, or clay), pagophagy (compulsive ice chewing), and amylophagy (the practice of eating purified starch), are more likely anemic or have low hemoglobin concentration in their blood, lower levels of red blood cells (hematocrit), or lower plasma zinc levels. For this reason you should always get laugh work done with your doctor.


Those suffering with pagpphagia tend to chew on ice because it helps people with iron deficiency feel more alert and mentally sharp.


if you ore someone you know is suffering from pica please contact your doctor.

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