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What is Pica Disorder? What are the side effects and treatment?

Study guide

People with Pica syndrome or cannibalism consume substances that have no nutritional value. These people may tend to eat harmless substances such as ice or dangerous substances such as pieces of paint or metal. Why do people get Pica? What are the side effects? How can it be treated? In this article, we will answer all these questions. Stay with us until the end of the article.

Pica disorder

Children and pregnant women are more likely to have the disorder, which is usually temporary. According to statistics, 4 to 26 percent of the population has Pica syndrome or cannibalism. In dangerous cases, Pica disorder can have serious consequences such as lead poisoning, and treatment of the disease will prevent serious side effects. See a doctor right away if you or your child want to eat non-food items.

Pica syndrome also affects people with mental disabilities and is more severe and prolonged in people with severe developmental disabilities.

Symptoms of Pica syndrome

People with Pica syndrome regularly eat non-food items. This behavior must last at least a month to be known as Pica syndrome. If someone has pica, they may eat the following:

  • Hair;
  • Ice;
  • Plaster;
  • Sand;
  • Button;
  • Soil;
  • Color;
  • Adhesive;
  • Feces;
  • Soap;
  • Clay;
  • Ash;
  • cigarette butts.

The cause of promiscuity

There is no single cause for promiscuity. Deficiency of iron, zinc or other nutrients can sometimes cause pica. For example, iron deficiency anemia may be a major cause of cannibalism in pregnant women.

Unusual cravings for non-food items can indicate the body’s efforts to compensate for low levels of these nutrients.

Pica may be a coping mechanism in people with certain mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Some people may even enjoy the texture or taste of some non-food items. In some cultures, eating cultural clay is accepted. This type of cannibalism is called geophagy.

Diet and malnutrition can also lead to promiscuity. Sometimes eating non-food items makes a person feel full.

How is pica diagnosed?

There is no test for promiscuity. Your doctor may diagnose Pica syndrome based on your medical history and several other factors. You need to be honest with your doctor about the non-food you eat and help your doctor make a more accurate diagnosis.

If a person does not tell his or her doctor what substances he or she is using, it may be difficult to diagnose cannibalism. This is also true for children and people with mental disorders.

Your doctor may order a blood test to check your zinc and iron levels. A blood test can detect essential nutrients such as iron deficiency.

Complications of cannibalism

Sometimes eating certain non-food items can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Shock;
  • Poisoning;
  • Ileus;
  • Parasitic infections.

Consumption of certain substances also causes these possible side effects:

  • Eating unhealthy foods can lead to a lack of nutrients in the body.
  • Consumption of paint particles is associated with the risk of poisoning, such as lead poisoning. Consumption of these substances can increase the risk of learning disabilities or brain damage in children.
  • Consumption of indigestible substances such as stones may cause constipation or obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the small or large intestine. Hard objects or beams, such as paper clips or metal, can also rupture the lining of the esophagus or intestines.
  • Bacteria and parasites in the soil and other substances can also cause serious infections. Some infections cause kidney or liver damage.
  • Developmental disorders make treatment more difficult.

Pica treatment

The doctor usually starts by treating the side effects of non-food items. For example, if a person has been poisoned by eating pieces of paint, their doctor may prescribe chelation therapy. In this procedure, your doctor prescribes a drug that binds to lead to be excreted in the urine. It is both oral and intravenous, such as ethylenediamine, amino tetraacetic acid, or EDTA for short.

If your doctor concludes that binge eating is due to a lack of nutrients in your body, he or she may prescribe a vitamin or mineral supplement. For example, if he or she discovers that promiscuity is due to iron deficiency, he or she may prescribe iron supplements.

Your doctor may also perform clinical examinations to check for obsessive-compulsive disorder or other mental illnesses and may prescribe medication, treatment, or both, depending on the diagnosis.

Researchers have not yet developed a specific drug to help cannibals, but research shows that taking a multivitamin supplement can have a therapeutic effect on some people.

If a person with pica has a disability or mental illness, medications to control behavioral problems can reduce or limit their cravings for non-nutrients.

Pica status changes over time

Cannibalism in children and pregnant women usually goes away within a few months without treatment. If nutrient deficiencies are the cause of cannibalism, eliminating the deficiencies will reduce its symptoms.

Pica does not always go away, especially in people with mental disabilities that can last for years. The doctor tries to give the patient a clear picture of his condition and help him manage the condition.

Prevention of pica disorder

There is no specific way to prevent cannibalism. However, paying attention to eating habits and careful monitoring of the substances that children put in their mouths to some extent prevents the disorder.

You say

Given what we have said in this article, have you ever had Pica syndrome? What kind of non-food would you like to eat? What did you do to treat this problem? If you wish, you can share your experience and opinion with us in the comments section, and to acquaint those around you with this strange syndrome, share this article with them through social networks.

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you should consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information





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