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Pica Eating Disorder
Transcript of Pica Eating Disorder
Pica comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird known for its large and indiscriminate appetite Who does it affect? Primarily in children age one to six and children with intellectual disabilities.
10% to 30% of children have this disorder. It can last for one month or longer. Children with pica frequently crave and consume nonfood items such as: dirt
cigarette ashes match heads
soap Though consumption of some items may be harmless, pica is considered to be a serious eating disorder that can sometimes result in serious health problems such as lead poisoning and iron-deficiency anemia. What are the symptoms? Negative Effects Repetitive consumption of nonfood items, despite efforts to restrict it, for a period of at least 1 month or longer
Nutritional deficiencies – iron and zinc deficiencies are commonly observed.
Gastro-intestinal symptoms – vomiting, constipation, ulcers and bowel perforation.
Lead poisoning is seen in ingestion of pencils and painted plaster. This condition can be without symptoms or have neurological and gastro-intestinal symptoms.
Worm infestations can occur with ingestion of mud or feces. How is it diagnosed? Pica is also common in adults who crave a certain texture in their mouth. Examples of those suffering from pica eating disorder are demonstrated on the television show, "My Strange Addictions" No single test
Since pica can occur in people who have lower than-normal nutrient levels and malnutrition, the health care provider may test blood levels of iron and zinc
Blood tests done to check for anemia
Lead levels should always be checked in children in case of lead poisoning
May also check for infections
My Strange Addiction (Short Clips) Possible Treatment Address any missing nutrients or other medical problems (i.e. lead poisoning)
Treating pica involves behaviors, the environment, and family education
Associate the pica behavior with negative consequences or punishment (mild aversion therapy)
positive reinforcement for eating normal foods
Medications may help reduce the abnormal eating behavior if pica is part of a developmental disorder such as mental retardation
Treatment success varies
Disorder can last several months, then disappear on its own
May continue into the teen years or adulthood, especially when it occurs with developmental disorders Treatment Success? Test your understanding! Between what ages is pica
A: Between ages one and six in children Name three examples of substances that may be eaten by those who have pica. A: Ashes, cigarette butts, sand, clay, paint chips...etc. Why do most adults result to non-food substances such as plastic or soil? A: Like the texture. What is a health problem that could occur as a result of eating foreign substances? A: Answers may vary. (Vitamin deficiency, iron deficiency, lead poisoning, anemia) Thank you!