Pica Syndrome: A Disease with the Desire to Eat Soil

You must have seen or heard of someone who ate soil, paper, or pencil as a child. This interesting disease is the Pika syndrome, which is especially seen in childhood!

In this article, we have gathered everything you need to know about Pika syndrome, which manifests itself with the desire to eat soil!

What is pica disease?

Pica is a habit of eating foreign matter that occurs in childhood or even infancy and lasts longer than 1 month. However, this should not be confused with the fact that children put everything in their mouth to get to know the world. In order for the condition to be defined as Pica syndrome, the child must eat the foreign substance in his mouth.

Children with pica disease, especially soil;

  • Paper,
  • Pil,
  • Lime,
  • Kum,
  • pencil tip,
  • soap,
  • It feels the urge to eat foreign materials such as paint.

What are the symptoms of pica syndrome?

Pica syndrome is very easily detected. If your child;

  • That you put soil in your mouth,
  • He licked the soles of his shoes,
  • The battery bites,
  • If you see that you are gnawing a pencil, you may know that you have Pica.

What are the causes of pica syndrome?

The most obvious cause of pica disease is a lack of iron, zinc, calcium and B vitamins in the body. For an unknown reason, children who are deficient in these nutrients are tempted to eat the foreign substances mentioned above. However, this situation also has a dead end; It is not yet clear whether the child has an iron deficiency due to the urge to eat soil or whether he ate soil because of iron deficiency!

Except this;

  • Having psycho-social developmental disorder,
  • experiencing severe trauma,
  • Pica can also be seen in children with psychological problems.

Who is most likely to have pica syndrome?

  • with mental problems,
  • Disrupted family communication
  • with autism ,
  • having malnutrition,
  • It has been observed that this problem is more common in children of families with financial difficulties.

What are the harms of pica syndrome?

  • Growth retardation due to iron and zinc deficiency,
  • Infections that develop due to unhygienic food,
  • intestinal parasites,
  • heavy metal poisoning,
  • digestive problems,
  • Anemia,
  • Dental problems are among the dangers of Pica syndrome.

How is pica syndrome treated?

If you encounter such a situation, “How is my child’s desire to eat soil?” We know you will wonder. Our advice to you would be to consult a doctor without waiting for this situation to go away on its own.

In the treatment of pica syndrome, the child’s story is listened first. Then, the body values ​​of the child are examined with various blood tests. In these examinations, iron and zinc deficiency will most likely be noticed. After this examination, the treatment process begins with iron, zinc and calcium supplements, as well as nutritional recommendations.

To fill the deficiency of these nutrients;

  • Liver,
  • Red meat,
  • egg,
  • legumes,
  • Grape molasses,
  • green leafy vegetables,
  • whole wheat products,
  • Seafood is of great importance.

In addition, psychological examination of the child is also important. If iron levels are not in a dangerous state, it is thought that there is a psychological condition underlying it. The problem can be prevented by examinations by a pedagogue. Therefore, families should be conscious and know that the child should be seen by a psychiatrist or neurologist when necessary.

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