PIKACHU can be cute but PICA can’t be……

Neelam Pandey
3 min readJun 14, 2021

I wonder why kids have to put everything in their mouth they get ?And I was one of the kid who loved eating mud…Even Lord Krishna in his childhood loved to eat mud…

So coming to eating mud in kids is because they have no idea about edible things, so may be in my childhood I use to eat mud and had fun…Now lets come to the topic PICA. What is PICA ?

The term pica comes from the Latin for “magpie,” a bird known for voraciously eating food and nonfood items alike. It is one of the rarest bird. Now how humans are affected to this PICA?…How it occurs ?

PICA BIRD

Cultural pica is reflected in the histories of many countries and remains a common practice in communities all over the world. Very often, pica behavior (especially geophagia, the ingestion of soil or clay) is associated with pregnancy, childbearing, and breastfeeding.

  • Pica often occurs with other mental health disorders associated with impaired functioning (e.g., intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia).
  • Iron-deficiency anemia and malnutrition are two of the most common causes of pica, followed by pregnancy. Dirt, clay, and flaking paint are the most common items eaten. Less common items include glue, hair, cigarette ashes, and feces. The disorder is more common in children, affecting 10% to 30% of young children ages 1 to 6.

Pica Symptoms and Characteristics

  • Nausea.
  • Pain in the stomach (or abdominal cramping which can indicate that there may be an intestinal blockage)
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Stomach ulcers (which may cause blood in the stools)
  • Symptoms of lead poisoning (if paint chips that contain lead are ingested)

Medical Conditions that may cause PICA are are associated with iron-deficiency anemia. Pagophagia (excessive eating of ice/freezer frost) has been reported in patients receiving dialysis treatment for kidney disease. The most salient feature of the disorder is compulsive overeating and food foraging due to physiological factors that prevent a feeling of fullness after eating . In the absence of treatment and monitoring, individuals develop life-threatening obesity. While they appear to prefer conventional food items when available, the literature contains numerous real incidents in which people with Prader-Willi consumed contaminated food from the garbage or floor; unconventional edibles, such as raw meat, pet food, and cake mix; and odorized inedible, such as lemon-scented soaps.

There is no single known etiology for pica. While many theories are discussed in the literature, it is often unclear as to whether an individual’s pica is a primary, secondary, or multifactorial phenomenon. We do know that the behavior cuts across cultural, regional, socioeconomic, gender, and age boundaries and may occur in any clinical setting, and thus it should be included in the general professional knowledge base.

ITEMS that are consumed by PICA disorder person can be Crayons, chalk, glue, markers, pencils, pens Ashes Cigarette Building materials Caulking, concrete, glass Fibers Rope, carpet, cloth, pillow/toy stuffing, sponge Home items Candles, charcoal, coffee grounds, mothballs Insects Dead, live Metal Bolts, coins, nails, nuts, rust, screws Paper Books, disposable diapers, labels, toilet paper Plastic Container lids, toy parts Rubber Foam rubber, tubing, telephone cord Sewing supplies Pins, needles, buttons, thread Toiletries Soap, deodorant, toilet bowl freshener, toothpaste.

Some picas pose serious health risks, which include toxicity; intestinal infections and/or parasites; malnutrition, anemia, and other nutritional deficiencies; oral and dental health problems; and intestinal obstruction/perforation. Indirect complications include being avoided by others and the danger of bodily harm related to the process of searching for desired items. In certain cases, pica may be life threatening.

It Is really necessary to understand this Behavior and have the treatment done ASAP as eating non-edible items can lead to death and encouraging or ignoring can lead you to loss .So Please be aware of this and if you are addicted to any material from above mentioned reach out to your doctor and get well soon…..I hope you enjoyed and find this post informative and useful. Thanks!

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Neelam Pandey

Sketcher || reader || Dancer || So grateful to be sharing my world with you || In a world of darkness look up at the stars ||Sprinkling kindness everywhere I go