Pica Disorder

Written by Aleem

September 1, 2023

The urge to eat things that aren’t food

Pica disorder is a rare and unusual eating problem in which the person or child keeps eating things that aren’t food but have no nutritional value. Even though it seems strange, pica is a real, complicated disease that can have very bad effects on your health. In this blog, we’ll talk about pica disorder in a way that’s simple and easy to understand. We’ll talk about its causes, signs, effects, and why it’s important to get help.

What You Need to Know about Pica?

Pica disorder is when a person or child eats non-nutritive, non-food items over and over again for at least a month. This problem can happen at any age, but children and women who are pregnant are most likely to get it. it’s usually temporary. People with pica often eat things like clay, chalk, ice, paper, soap, and sometimes even metal. It’s important to remember that pica is not the same as when babies and toddlers put non-food things in their mouths to try them out. This is a serious disorder because even one episode can cause serious health problems for the child, such as lead poisoning or damage to the digestive system. People with intellectual and developmental problems who hurt themselves the most often do so because of pica.

Pica disorder has many causes

We don’t fully understand what causes pica disease, but there are a few things that can make it happen:

Nutritional Deficiencies: People who pick at their food may be trying to meet missing nutritional needs, like a lack of iron or zinc.

Psychological factors: Pica can be a way to deal with worry, trauma, or emotional pain.

Developmental Factors: Pica can happen as a normal part of a child’s growth, but it normally goes away as the child gets older. When it comes to people, it is often linked to other mental health problems.

What are the symptoms?

For early help, it’s important to know what the signs and symptoms of pica disease are:

Eating things that aren’t food: Constantly eating things that have no nutritional value, like dirt, chalk, or ice.

Compulsive Behavior: A is a strong, long-lasting urge to eat things that aren’t food, even though the person knows it could hurt them.

Physical Symptoms: Problems with the stomach and intestines, tooth damage, and issues from things eaten can happen.

Causes and Effects of Pica

Pica disorder can cause major physical and mental health problems:

Digestive Problems: Eating things that aren’t food can cause digestive problems, like clogs or damage to the intestines.

Damage to the Teeth: Chewing or sucking on rough things can cause loss of the teeth and damage to the teeth.

Malnutrition: Pica can make it hard to absorb important nutrients, which can lead to vitamin deficiencies.

Infections and Toxins: If you eat non-food things that are contaminated, you could get an infection or be exposed to toxins.

Getting Help and Care

If you or someone you know has pica disease, it is important to get professional help:

Medical Assessments: Start with a full medical evaluation to find out if there are any underlying nutritional deficiencies or physical problems.

Help with mental health: Talk to a mental health professional, like a therapist or psychologist, about any mental issues that might be causing pica.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and habit reversal training (HRT): CBT and HRT are two types of behavioral treatment that have been shown to help treat pica disorder.

Nutritional Counseling: A trained dietitian can help you make up for any nutritional gaps and give you advice on how to eat healthily.

Support Group: Setting up a supportive and understanding environment can help someone get better.


Pica disorder is a special kind of eating problem that needs special care and attention. People with pica may be judged and misunderstood, so it’s important to treat them with compassion and understanding. People can get over pica disorder, improve their physical health, and have a better quality of life with the right medicine and help.

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