Pica is an eating disorder where someone eats things that aren’t considered food. With pica, the eaten items also don’t have nutritional value. Some things that may be eaten by someone with pica include soap, paper, dirt, ash, hair and string. Pica may occur along with other mental health disorders. Pica can affect people of any age and gender.
Sometimes pica occurs in response to a nutritional deficiency a person is experiencing, particularly if the symptoms arise during pregnancy.
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