PICA: SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

PICA

PICA is a compulsive eating disorder that affects around 25%- 30% of young children, ages 1 to 2 and sometimes pregnant women.

It is the act of eating non-food items. Dirt, clay, and flaking paint.Less common items include glue, hair, cigarette ashes, and faeces. It is most common in children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as autism.

On rare occasions, pregnant women crave strange, non-food items. For these women, pica often involves eating dirt and may be related to an iron and zinc deficiency.

SYMPTOMS OF PICA

Pica symptoms are related to the non-food item he or she has eaten. They include:

✔Stomach Pain
✔Stomach upset
✔Blood in the stool (which may be a sign of an ulcer that developed from eating non-food items)
✔Bowel problems (such as constipation or diarrhea)

PICA TREATMENT


Treatment will address several areas.

For example, your doctor will treat your ✔child’s constipation,
✔ diarrhea,
✔ulcer,
✔intestinal tear,
✔infection, or any combination of illnesses.
✔If your doctor finds your child doesn’t have enough iron or zinc, he or she will address that with a vitamin supplement and dietary recommendations.
✔ Iron and zinc supplement is given to pregnant women

It is necessary to provide nutritious diet to the children and pregnant women not just to prevent PICA but for the overall health benefits.
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