• Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

During pregnancy, a woman’s hormones are usually thrown off balance. Nausea, vomiting, mood swings, headaches, dizziness and other frustrating feelings tend to kick in, all together and sometimes one or two. However, a mystery that revolves around eating inedible substances such as soil, fabrics, polythene papers et cetera is still very evident. Many people simply do not understand why one would enjoy eating non-food substances.

Pica is a psychological disorder characterized by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive, such as ice (pagophagia) hair (tricophagia),paper (xylophagia), drywall or paint; sharp objects (acuphagia); metal (metallophagia); stones (lithophagia) or soil (geophagia) glass (hyalophagia); feces (coprophagia) and chalk, for a period longer than one month.

According to the DSM 5, mineral deficiencies are occasionally associated with pica, but biological abnormalities are rarely found. Most times, people with pica are more likely anemic or have low hemoglobin concentration in their blood.

Although pica is sometimes harmless, risks and complications are present depending on the substance consumed. For example, lead poisoning may result from the ingestion of paint or paint-soaked plaster and hairballs may cause intestinal obstruction.Toxoplasma or Toxocara infections may follow ingestion of feces or soil. Depending on the severity of pica, treatment can range from withdrawal therapy to mineral supplementation. Dietary modification has also been found to be a successful remedy.

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