PICA powerpoint

By Emilee Blum
 Pica can be classified as an eating disorder.
 It causes a person to develop an uncontrollable desire to eat
substances that have little or no nutritive value in large amounts.
 Conditions for these actions to be considered pica:
 They must persist for more than one month at an age where
eating such objects is considered developmentally
inappropriate (some children eat non edible substances
because of curiosity, but not craving)
 Not part of a cultural practice and severe enough to cause
clinical attention.
 A deficiency in iron, zinc, or another nutrient may lead to pica. The
body will try to replace the low levels of nutrients through “food”.
 Mental health conditions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder
(OCD) and schizophrenia can develop pica to cope
 People with eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa may attempt
to ease hunger by eating nonfood substances to get a feeling of
 Cultural factors — in families, religions, or groups in which eating
nonfood substances is a learned practice
 Parental neglect, lack of supervision, or food deprivation — often
seen in children living in poverty
 Developmental problems, such as mental retardation, autism, other
developmental disabilities, or brain abnormalities
 Pregnancy due to the increase in iron demand by the developing
Some of the most common examples of items consumed items
 Starch (both laundry starch and corn starch)
 Ice
 Dirt
 Clay
 Paper and wood
 Wool/hair
• The specific causes of pica are unknown, but certain conditions
and situations can increase a person's risk:
• Nutritional deficiencies, such as iron or zinc, that may trigger
specific cravings (however, the nonfood items craved usually
don't supply the minerals lacking in the person's body)
• Pica is a serious eating disorder that can result in severe health
problems such as:
 Lead poisoning
 Intestinal blockages
 Parasitic infections
 Choking
 Malnutrition/Starvation
 Infection
 Death-if left untreated
 There is no specific test to decide whether someone has pica
they can only:
 Test your blood for low levels of zinc or iron
 Test your blood for lead or arsenic poisoning
 This may include Iron supplementation for Anemia
 Mental Health Counseling
 Medication to help with OCD or psychological disorders
 Removal of items from the surroundings
• Prognosis success varies. In many cases, the disorder lasts
several months, then disappears on its own. In some cases, it
may continue into the teen years or adulthood, especially when
it occurs with developmental disorders.
 http://www.healthline.com/health/pica#Causes
 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/914765overview#aw2aab6b4
 Stump, Sylvia. "Neurological and Mental Conditions." Nutrition
and diagnosis-related care. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer
Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008. 254. Print.
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002505/

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