Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Pica Overview

What is pica?
A person with pica has a condition where they eat non-food material such as dirt or paper. This condition is seen most often in children ages 1-6 than in adults. Pica that involves eating old paint chips can lead to lead poisoning.

What are the symptoms of pica?
The symptoms of pica include eating things such as animal feces, dirt, ice, paint, sand or clay.

How does the doctor treat pica?
Treatment of pica should first address any missing nutrients in the body, and any other medical problems such as lead exposure. Successful treatment of pica may include therapies such as behavior, developmental, and family education. Consequences and punishment may also be used followed by a positive reinforcement for eating the right foods.

Last Updated: Jul 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Pica References
  1. Lubarsky M, Juncos JL. Progressive supranuclear palsy: a current review. Neurologist. 2008 Mar;14(2):79-88. [18332837]
  2. Tolosa E, Valldeoriola F, Marti MJ. Clinical diagnosis and diagnostic criteria of progressive supranuclear palsy (Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome). J Neural Transm Suppl. 1994;42:15-31. [7964684]
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