Complications of Pica
Pica can result in a number of different health complications that could cause you serious harm. This is why it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible for your pica cravings.
- Lead Poisoning: Eating substances that contain lead, such as soil, clay, or paint, could lead to lead poisoning, which can seriously harm both you and your baby, and can even result in death.
- Bowel Obstruction: Eating non-food items, especially rocks, hair, and dirt, can cause your bowel to become obstructed. This can lead to severe constipation, bowel inflammation, and infection.
- Parasite Infection: Items from the earth, including clay, soil, and grass, can be home to parasites. When you ingest these items, parasites can then infect your gastrointestinal tract causing pain, weight loss, and other side effects.
- Dental Injury: Your teeth were not made to process non-food items. Hard substances like rocks, clay, and ice can cause serious damage to your teeth, and you may experience broken and fractured teeth.
Effects of Pica on Your Baby
Unfortunately, pica cravings can cause serious harm to your baby. Eating non-food items can actually prevent your body from absorbing the proper minerals and nutrients.
This could mean that your baby is not receiving the proper nutrition, increasing his risk for a variety of complications, including low birth weight, preterm labor, and stillbirth.
If you are suffering from pica disorder or if you think that you may be experiencing some pica-like behaviors, it is important that you visit with your health care professional for proper pica treatment. She will make sure that you are not suffering from any physical complications. Further treatment will be recommended to help you to overcome future pica cravings.
Common treatments include:
- nutritional supplements
- medications to control cravings, stress, or depression
- psychological counseling
- behavior therapy