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Dental nurse Kerry Trebilcock has eaten 4,000 washing-up sponges and more than 100 bars of soap due to a rare disorder.
The 21-year-old loves nothing more than covering them in hot sauce, Ketchup or mustard for added flavour and also dips them in tea or hot chocolate like biscuits.
Her disorder - known as pica - is so bad that she gets hungry while taking a shower, doing the washing-up or just walking down the cleaning aisle in supermarkets.
The disorder causes victims to crave objects that are not food and other sufferers eat metal, coal, sand, chalk — or even lightbulbs and furniture.
Kerry, of Mylor, Cornwall, believes she got the bizarre disorder after being infected with hookworm while on holiday to Morocco in 2008.
Her favourite bar of soap is organic lemon and lime and Kerry said: "I have been very particular about the type of sponges and soaps I'd eat and how I'd prepare them.
"If I went out for the day I'd carry a small plastic bag of cut-up pieces of sponge with some tomato and BBQ sauce in Tupperware. I was never without a 'snack'."
There are different variations of pica, as it can be from a cultural tradition, acquired taste or a neurological mechanism such as an iron deficiency, or chemical imbalance. It can lead to intoxication in children which can result in an impairment in both physical and mental development. In addition, it can also lead to surgical emergencies due to an intestinal obstruction as well as more subtle symptoms such as nutritional deficiencies and parasitosis. Pica is oftentimes culturally accepted and is not deemed inappropriate. Pica has been linked to mental disability and they often have psychotic comorbidity. Stressors such as maternal deprivation, family issues, parental neglect, pregnancy, poverty, and a disorganized family structure are strongly linked to pica.
Pica is more commonly seen in women and children, where it affects people of all ages in these subgroups. Particularly it is seen in pregnant women, small children, and those with developmental disabilities such as autism. For children with autism, suffering from pica disorder has seemed to be even more dangerous. Children eating painted plaster containing lead may suffer brain damage from lead poisoning. There is a similar risk from eating dirt near roads that existed prior to the phaseout of tetra-ethyl lead in petrol (in some countries) or prior to the cessation of the use of contaminated oil (either used or containing toxic PCBs or dioxin) to settle dust.
Originally posted by revmoofoo
My wife eats bath sponges and has done her whole life. I think it's a nasty habit, but as she actually "craves" the taste and the texture and she even has favourite places that she sends me to buy the sponges for her. lol
She's a crazy lass, but I do love her.
Originally posted by eeks4
where do they get the nutrition from this???yuk
Originally posted by kokoro
Yes pica is real and probably more common than you would think. You should check out the show "My strange addiction" on TLC, many of the episodes have people who suffer from pica.