Doctors gave her intensive Cognitive-behavioral therapy, to help her think of positive things when she felt like eating soap, and also encouraged her to get out more, take long walks, and avoid places where soap or detergent are available, like bathrooms and laundromats…She’s using liquid soap now, and for some reason it doesn’t appeal to her at all. archives. Some people are unable to absorb vital nutrients, which can result in the cravings. [37] However, since the removal of the category, psychiatrists have started to diagnose pica in people of all ages. Clay cravings can be a result of anemia as well. By Jeff Maysh Updated: 17:33 EST, 8 February 2011. Kudos for thinking about how your behavior might affect your long-term health and writing in to ask about it! The NPCC can provide more information about soap poisoning. Sensory, physiological, cultural, and psychosocial perspectives have also been used by some to explain the causation of pica. The nursing student says she knew eating soap was dangerous, but ignored the warning labels on the box in favour of licking the deadly powder daily, from the minute she woke up in the morning. We are no longer accepting comments on this article. You are what you eat. She was diagnosed with a rare disorder called PICA, which doctors told her is characterised by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive. When Tempestt herself had to leave for college, hundreds of miles away from her family home in Florida, things took a turn for the worse. Blood tests may reveal that the acid, or pH, level of your blood changed, which can damage your vital organs. Tempestt Henderson, a 19-year-old girl from Florida, has a rather peculiar addiction - she can't help eating soap bars and washing powder. Bring the container of soap with you to the emergency room if you can. Further, a registered dietician can also suggest ways to manage stress-related cravings and snacking options. Well, I don't sit there eating whole bars at a time, but I do take little chunks off to nibble sometimes. Soaps can be highly toxic. After the nutrient levels return to normal, the cravings stop. All materials on this website are copyrighted. Pica in adults and children experience unusual cravings for non-food items such as dirt, ice, wood and soap. One possible long-term effect of eating soap to keep in mind is a blockage in or damage to the digestive tract. The term originates from the latin word pica (“magpie”), from the concept that magpies will eat almost anything[3]. 'I used to love smelling the powder, but when life got so stressful I found only eating the soap would help. Copyright © 2020 Bright Hub PM. Trying to eat healthy, exercise more, or get into mindfulness and meditation? An initial approach often involves screening for, and if necessary, treating any mineral deficiencies or other comorbid conditions. Young kids often put non-food items (like grass or toys) in their mouths because they're curious about the world around them. What are the signs and symptoms of soap poisoning? Make sure you aren’t accidentally ingesting or inhaling them. [18], Complications may occur due to the substance consumed. If their pica is a result of obtaining a favorite item, a strategy may be used where the person is able to receive the item or activity without eating inedible items. This craving is another symptom of an iron deficiency. Subtypes are characterized by the substance eaten: Other common, non-food substances associated with pica include dirt, clay, cornstarch, glue, coffee grounds, ice, hair, sand, and toothpaste. [35][36] Young children commonly place non-nutritious material into their mouths. Eating soap felt much cleaner than just washing with it, and the young girl claims that at one point she would go through five bars of soap in a week. Ingesting certain harmful substances or some substances in large amounts may lead to medical problems, such as poisoning. [18], The DSM-5 posits four criteria that must be met for a person to be diagnosed with pica:[21], In individuals with autism, schizophrenia, and certain physical disorders (such as Kleine-Levin syndrome), non-nutritive substances may be eaten. Parents of young children should be especially aware of single-load liquid detergent pods for your dishwasher or laundry.

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