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What is pica?

Have you ever experienced having pica? And no, pica is not only a condition for the autistic and mentally retarded. Pica is defined as a compulsive craving for eating, licking, or chewing non-nutritive food and non-food items. Examples of these things that people with pica crave for include ice, paint chips, glue, chalk, cigarette ashes, and even rust. And these people actually eat them! Though this condition is commonly seen in people with iron and zinc deficiencies, this is also evident in kids suffering from mental deficiencies. However, the pica phenomenon can even happen to those people with psychological disturbances. For example, an individual coming from a poor family may result to pica to ease his appetite for food. Pica is also common in pregnant women. Fortunately, the phenomenon usually disappears after giving birth. While this condition may be a little odd, it is also dangerous. This can definitely lead to poisoning, that is why it is important to supervise the people who are having pica.