Pica is a serious disorder that can cause many physical problems for children and adults depending on the substance being eaten. Depending on whether it is dirt, paper, chalk, hair, sand or other non-food materials that is being ingested, the risks are serious. If the symptoms of pica appear, it is important to seek proper treatment. Here at GoMentor.com, you can find trained therapists who specialize in pica and other eating disorders. Before showing how you can get help with this problem, here are some other facts about pica, including the causes of this disorder, the common symptoms, and the risks associated with it.

Causes of Pica

For some children, the occurrence of pica is thought to be primarily caused by a nutrient deficiency during birth. A lot iron count, for example, may cause pica to become a problem for a child when they cause unusual cravings. In adults, it is thought to be caused by compulsions to have a certain texture or taste in the mouth during times of stress. Eating chalk is a common example of this.

Symptoms of Pica

From eating dirt to eating paper or other more dangerous substances, there are many signs that pica may be a problem.  Generally, the eating of non-food materials should occur for more than a month to be considered as pica. The older a child gets the more they may try to hide the odd eating behavior, making it more difficult to diagnose. If there are other signs like malnutrition or stomach pains all the time, it may be a good idea to investigate a little closer to see if pica might be a problem.

Dangers of Pica

If it is not treated, pica can do serious damage to the stomach and throat depending on the substance being eaten. Even if it is a non-toxic item being ingested, there could be serious medical problems. If the disorder follows a child into adulthood, it can result in other mental disorders if treatment isn't sought. Infection, intestinal damage, lead poisoning and malnutrition are other risks associated with pica.


Treatment for Pica

Because of the dangers of this eating disorder, it is important to get proper treatment. Here at GoMentor.com, we have therapists who offer online therapy for pica that combines traditional therapy with the communication powers of the Internet. This treatment method for pica is relatively new, but it offers the therapy and counseling that are both needed to deal with this eating disorder. If it can be stopped in childhood, it can alleviate many risks that exist if the disorder follows a child into adulthood.

Definition of Pica

Pica is an eating disorder that causes a person to eat non-food materials - some safe and some hazardous. The causes of pica in children are thought to be deficiencies during pregnancy while in adults it is a compulsion for a certain texture in the mouth. Whatever the cause, there are treatment options for pica, including therapy and guided group counseling.

Symptoms of / Reasons for Pica

  • Eating non-food materials
  • Strange eating behavior lasts more than a month

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