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Other Names :  

Pica disorder

What is Pica Syndrome ?  

Pica disorder refers to appetite for eating non-edible and non-nutritive substances such as chalk, paint, sand, etc. This appetite persisting more than one month at the age where eating such objects is considered to be developmentally inappropriate.

Cause(s) :  
  • Mineral deficiency (deficiency of iron, calcium etc)
  • Chemical imbalance
  • Parasitosis
  • Celiac disease
  • Hookworm infection
Symptoms :  

Diagnosis and Tests :  No single test to confirm Pica syndrome. DSM criteria inlcudes:
  • Persistent eating of non-nutritive substances for a period of at least one month
  • In the absence of autism, schizophrenia or Kleine-Levin syndrome
  • Culturally not sanctioned
  • Such eating behaviour existing in severe form in association with other conditions such as intellectual disability, pervasive developmental disorder, etc, that it requires a separate clinical intervention.
Category :  Others

Specialist to consult :  Psychiatry

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