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Pica on the rise?

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posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 05:48 PM
I truly had no idea that this was such an issue. I used to know a woman who would pull out and eat her hair, then I'd heard about people who have a compulsion to eat metal, but I had no idea that it was so prevalent and on the rise.

The number of people hospitalized with pica, the disorder in which people eat non-edible substances including dirt and chalk, has nearly doubled within a decade, a new study finds.

Between 1999 and 2009, yearly hospitalizations in the United States for this disorder increased 93 percent, from 964 to 1,862, said the report from the government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Pica is most commonly found in children, pregnant women and people with autism and other developmental disabilities. In many cases, the disorder lasts several months and then disappears without treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The article goes on to say that they think the increase in cases is due to the increase in autism cases.

Little is known about what causes the disorder, and researchers said they can only speculate as to why pica hospitalizations have jumped. But it may be due, at least in part, to the recent rise in the number of diagnosed autism cases.

Thirty-one percent of childhood pica cases in 2009 were found in autistic children, said study researcher William Encinosa, senior economist with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

It also states that eating disorders are also on the rise.

Hospitalizations involving eating disorders in general have increased over the last decade, the study showed. There were about 29,500 such hospitalizations in 2008-09, up 24 percent from the years 1999-2000. Most of the patients found to have eating disorders entered the hospital for other reasons, including depression and alcohol-related disorders.

Anyone else have any information or additional insight into this condition? Does anyone believe that it has anything to do with GMOs and the quality of our food? Maybe fast food has something to do with this?

Whatever it is, strange things are definitely afoot.
edit on 16-9-2011 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 06:03 PM
Thinking more about this, the more they regulate vitamin and mineral supplements and remove them from store shelves, our bodies are going to start craving things. Just as when dogs and cats begin to eat their own, um, dung to replace nutrients their bodies are lacking. Combine this with the fact that the quality of our food is quickly decreasing and more people are eating fast food because it's more affordable, our bodies are going to be further lacking in nutrients. Then, the fact that microwaves change and destroy the quality of the food adds to this problem. Then, add in the genetically modified animals and vegetables we're eating and this becomes one huge problem!

Maybe this is what has led to the aliens supposedly having to stop eating and soak in nutrient baths, if this is true.

posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 06:14 PM
I had Pica. I literally craved freezer frost. Having a modern freezer I would try different methods trying to create it. Turns out I had Celiacs. A condition that cause you not to be able to absorb nutrients. Most people with Celiacs don't know they have it.
That said, I believe GMO's and the lack of nutrients in today's food , does contribute to it. I am sure we will see cases of Pica rise.

posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 06:26 PM
Years ago my best friend's sister used to eat her own hair- A LOT! It got so bad that she actually had to have surgery to remove the huge amounts of hair from her stomache. I don't remember the specifics as it's been since the early 1980's but the doctors came to the conclusion that it was a mental problem that was described to me as similar to a body tic only it was a brain tic.They put her on a combination of medications ( Limbitrol was one of them, can't remember the others) and the problem went away.

She is no longer on the medications- hasn't been for years- but she never went back to eating her hair.

posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 07:34 PM
The pulling of hair is actually a common part of an illness called trichotillomania. The eating of the hair is called trichophagia and can be dangerous and cause bowel obstruction. Very interesting and sad for people who have this compulsion. There is a show on Discovery? I think about obsessive behaviors, it shows a lot of people with pica.

posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 09:24 PM

posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by spinalremain

yes thats it! My strange addiction on TLC.

I don't think that pica is on the rise so much as it is more recognized as a problem now. I think the prevalence was just under reported in the past.

Disorders like anorexia and bulimia on the other hand are probably more common now and are a product of a youth/celebrity worship based media. It isnt even restricted to young women anymore, young boys are starving themselves too, very sad.

edit on 16-9-2011 by kokoro because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 04:12 PM
I have heard that it has to do with malnutrition, too. Some people say supplementing with bentonite clay will help provide minerals, as lots of primates and other animals regularly seek out clay and eat it. Combine that with the degradation of our soils, destructive food production measures, and it does seem to make sense that people suffer intense cravings.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 01:07 PM
Yuk! I just spotted this in the Daily Mail. What a nightmare.

Girl, 3, addicted to eating everything munches through a whole LIGHTBULB (and is also partial to bricks)

A young girl is so addicted to eating harmful objects that she ate an entire lightbulb.

posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 02:24 PM
I had a case of Pica when I was pregnant. I would crave leather. Anything that smelled of leather or had the texture of leather I wanted. Knowing I couldn't eat my coworkers car seats or his new car smell air freshener, I would eat chewy steak meat. It didn't fix this craving, but it kept me from poisoning myself. Despite vitamins and the meat, I had low iron while pregnant.
Like other posters, I believe pica is related to malnutrition. With our food supply being so jacked up, more people are going to crave things their body needs. I also think the increase is partly due to all the chemicals in the air/water/food. I think these chemicals are depleting our body of essential minerals or is changing our body chemistry.

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