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Picacism: what it is, how to recognize it and what are the risks

woman with full mouth

Picacism is an eating disorder and is potentially dangerous. Let's find out what it is and how to recognize it.

The term pica indicates the habit of eating inedible things. Although it is part of eating behavior disorders, therefore, it does not strictly concern food but the attitude one has towards everything which, in reality, is not at all.
In fact, those who suffer from pica have the habit of eating materials of all kinds and although most of them are substances that are not harmful, sometimes even serious problems can be encountered.

Picacism: what it is and how to recognize it

In general, we speak of pica when a person over the age of two eats inedible things more than once and for at least one month in a row.
In fact, those suffering from this disorder have the habit of eating things such as paper, hair, clay, pencils and everything that is close at hand.

woman with full mouth
woman with full mouth

To recognize this disorder, therefore, it is enough to observe what you eat. When it comes to inedible things with repeated doing, we can talk about pica. The disease obviously needs to be treated.
In addition to leading to possible nutritional deficiencies , pica can in fact create serious complications in those who suffer from it.

The diagnosis is obviously made by the doctor who will evaluate the patient's age, eating habits, frequency of inedible food ingestion and general situation.
Obviously, children under the age of two are excluded from the diagnosis , as bringing objects to the mouth at that age is more than normal, as can trying to eat them.
Likewise, there are cultures where for religious or other reasons, it is considered normal to consume certain things. Also in this case, we will not speak of pica.

What you risk suffering from pica

The risks associated with pica are closely linked to what the subject who suffers from it usually tends to eat. In fact, it often happens that the picacista has preferences and therefore tends to eat, for example, only paper, napkins, screws or pencil leads.
When this happens, based on the food ingested, poisoning , infections, constipation or intestinal obstruction can occur.

For these reasons, when a person receives a diagnosis of pica he is usually subjected to some tests such as the one to check for possible states of infection or poisoning. X -rays are also added to check bowel function.
Furthermore, a series of tests should always be performed to evaluate possible nutritional deficiencies which, if present, will be restored with the right diet.

How to cure pica

To date, there is no real cure for pica. However, this is treated by the psychotherapist or psychiatrist. Generally, behavioral therapy is addressed to change the habits and situations that lead to introducing inedible things into the mouth.

In some cases, it seems that this problem occurs in conditions of anxiety or high stress and tends to go away on its own. Obviously, doing it yourself is never a good choice and in the event of problems in this sense it is always essential to contact an expert in order to restore a good quality of life and to avoid the even serious risks that one runs by continuing to ingest objects Of every kind.

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