5655 PICA

PICA

PICA

Pica is craving substances with little or no nutritional value. Most pregnancy and pica related cravings involve non-food substances such as dirt or chalk.



WHAT CAUSES PICA?



According to the Journal of American Dietetic Association there may be a connection to an iron deficiency. Sometimes pica cravings may be related to an underlying physical or mental illness.



COMMON PREGNANCY AND PICA CRAVINGS



The most common substances craved during pregnancy are dirt and clay.



Other pica cravings include:




  • Burnt matches

  • Stones

  • Charcoal

  • Ice

  • Cornstarch

  • Toothpaste

  • Soap

  • Sand

  • Plaster

  • Baking soda

  • Cigarette ashes



IS THE BABY UNDER RISK?



Eating non-food substances is potentially harmful to both you and your baby. Eating non-food substances may interfere with the nutrient absorption of healthy food substances and actually cause a deficiency.



MANAGING PICA



The most important thing to do is to inform your doctor about your cravings.



Here are some suggestions to help you deal with pica cravings:




  • Inform your doctor and review your prenatal health records

  • Monitor your iron status and other vitamin and mineral intake

  • Consider potential substitutes for the cravings such as chewing sugarless gum

  • Inform a friend of your craving who can help you avoid non-food items



Disclaimer: “The purpose of the article is to inform and educate. It can no way be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before making any significant diet, exercise or lifestyle changes”



 



 


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