Pica – The Strangest Things People Like To Eat

When you hear of an eating disorder, you think about conditions with troubled ‘food’ habits. What if I tell you an eating disorder is not about eating food? Pica is a non-food cravings disorder. It comprises of a tenacious consumption of substances other than food for over a month. Also, these items have no nutritional value.

pica eating disorder
Via – ebaumsworld.com

PICA: PROGNOSIS

Pica usually commences during childhood years. Typically, it lasts for a few months. However, it is likely harder to manage in developmentally disabled children.

Moreover, it is most likely to prevail in underdeveloped countries. Additionally, it can infect children, adolescents as well as adults of both genders. According to the National Library of Medicine, it persists in about 10-32% of children between the ages of 1 to 6 years.

pica prognosis
Via – netdna-cdn.com

PICA: SYMPTOMS AND BEHAVIOR

Clinical presentation of pica is highly variable. The disorder is associated with the resulting medical conditions and the ingested substances.

  • Persistent eating of non-nutritional substances. For instance:

– Animal faeces (coprophagia)
– Ash
– Blood (hematophagy)
– Burnt matches (cautopyreiophagia)
– Chalk
– Charcoal
– Clay (geophagia)
– Cloth
– Dirt (geophagy)
– Dust (Coniophagia)
– Glass (Hyalophagia)
– Gum
– Hair (trichophagia)
– Ice (pagophagia)
– Lead (Plumbophagia)
– Metal (metallophagia)
– Mucus (mucophagia)
– Paint
– Paper (papyrophagia)
– Pebbles or stones (lithophagia)
– Sharp objects (acuphagia)
– Soap
– Soil (geophagy)
– Starch (amylophagia)
– Urine (urophagia)
– Vomit (emetophagia)
– Wool (trichophagia)
– Wood (xylophagia)

pica symptoms and behaviour
via – cubebreaker.com
  • Children are not averse to ingesting food.
  • Associated mental disorders, such as intellectual disability, autism, and schizophrenia.
  • Medical conditions like pregnancy and iron deficiency anaemia are often associated with the condition.
  • Trichotillomania, i.e. hair pulling disorder and excoriation, i.e. skin picking disorder may be associated along with Pica.

Read also – Did You Know How Disturbed Eating Behaviors Affect You?

 

PICA: COMPLICATIONS

Disorder pica may have many potential life-threatening complications. Such as:

  • Certain metal-based items such as paint may contain lead or any other toxic substances. Ingesting these things causes heavy metal poisoning, which further increases the risk of learning disabilities and brain damage in children. Moreover, it has cardiovascular, endocrine, hematologic, neurologic, and renal consequences.
  • Consuming non-food objects leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, due to interference with healthy food consumption.
  • Consumption of stones or any other non-digestible item causes constipation and obstruction in the alimentary canal. Hemorrhage is also a result in particular cases.
  • Sharp objects such as paper clips can cause tearing and perforating of the alimentary canal lining.
  • Dirt contains bacteria or parasites, which cause serious toxoplasmosis, toxocariasis, and ascariasis infections in the body. Eventually, it leads to organ damage.
  • Gastrointestinal tract may trap a mass of indigestible material called bezoar.
treatment for pica
Via – pinimg.com
  • Dental manifestations including severe tooth abrasion, erosion, and surface tooth loss.

PICA: TREATMENT

The Handbook of Clinical Child Psychology encourages behavioural strategies as the most effective treatment approach for Pica. Mild aversion treatment therapy associates the pica behaviour with negative consequences or punishment. Further, through the use of positive reinforcement, patients are trained to consume edible foods.

Also, medicines may help reduce the abnormal eating behaviour. Further, few pieces of evidence suggest that drugs that enhance dopaminergic functioning, like olanzapine, provide treatment alternatives.

Due to the risk of medical complications, such as lead poisoning, close medical monitoring is necessary throughout treatment.

PICA: PREVENTION

Surprisingly, there exists no specific way to prevent pica. However, careful attention towards eating habits and close supervision of children can help. Additionally, it catches the disorder before any further complications can occur.

pica disorder prevention
via – Bournemouth.ac.uk

MR. EAT-ALL: A CASE STUDY

Michel Lotito, a French entertainer, was popular for consciously consuming indigestible objects. He ingested some unusual items after breaking them into small pieces. Such as bicycles, shopping carts, televisions, chandeliers, beds, skis, aircraft Cessna 150, water bed, and coffin. Following this was drinking mineral oil, which would help in lubrication.

michel lotito eat all case study
Via – modernnotion.com

Read also- What Is EDNOS: Know About An Eating Disorder That Beats Even Bulimia And Anorexia Nervosa!

Image source

Random Post

This Is How You Can Heal Yourself Easily Through Solfeggio Frequencies!

Solfeggio frequencies Solfeggio frequencies are 9 tones derived from numerology which was used centuries ago. These frequencies are supposed to create positive shifts to those in proximity...

The First Ever International Cricket Match

I have always thought about the oldest international rivalry in cricket. Like many of you, I believed it was England against Australia. In conclusion,...

10 Unique Museums around the World!

Museums have always been boring places. Boring than the history lectures. Though they have kept the history and the cultural heritage safe for such...

Latest article

Top 30 Ways To Change Your Mindset

Changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset may seem daunting, but anyone can do it by taking baby steps. Thinking about it...

Understanding How The Way You Sit Effects Your Back Muscles

Your body is an incredibly complex machine. There are still plenty of secrets regarding how some parts work, and research into these things is...

Mukbang And ASMR: 2 Popular Social Trends

Mukbang and ASMR eating has been the ongoing trend of this "new generation," which is usually on the phone screen, scrolling through social media...

Related Articles

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.