PICA: Symptoms and common problems

Persistent eating of nonnutritive, non food substance for at least one month.

The early Developmental habit of mouthing object disappears by the age of 2 years. Therefore Minimum age of 2 year is suggested . Not a part of culturally supported or socially normative practice.

It commonly includes ingestion of clay ,dirt, chalk ,plastic object ,paper etcetera. Commonly occurs in childhood .

Pica facts
Pica facts

More commonly associated with intellectual disability autism spectrum disorder, OCD, schizophrenic disorder. It increased risk for Lead poisoning hey, iron deficiency anemia, intestinal perforation intestinal obstruction Dental injury parasitic infestation sometimes it can be fatal.

As they are potential for parasitic infection Which can leads to liver damage, encephalitis ,myocarditis, nutritional deficiency . Children who continue to it non food substance should be evaluated 4 developmental disability hey along with various medical condition.

Educating the parents about the Complication of the disease is the basic step for treatment. Medical management is multi modal investigation needs to be individualised.

Stomach contents of a psychiatric patient with pica: 1,446 items, including “453 nails, 42 screws, safety pins, spoon tops, and salt and pepper shaker tops”.

Reference :-

Nelson text book of pediatrics

PG text book of pediatrics

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