Understanding PICA

PICA is an eating disorder in children and adults that involves eating items that are not typically thought of as food and that do not contain significant nutritional value, such as soil, chalk and paper. It can also include an abnormal appetite for things that may be considered food, like flour, raw potato and starch. 

Facts about PICA  

  • PICA is seen in all ages, particularly in pregnant women and small children, and especially among children who have a developmental disability. 

  • For a child to be diagnosed with the eating disorder of pica the symptoms must persist for more than one month, at an age where eating such objects is considered developmentally inappropriate. 

  • Pica generally occurs between 12 and 24 months but can occur in adults 

What are the symptoms of PICA?

PICA symptoms are caused by the nonfood items that have been consumed. They can include:  

  • Stomach pain 

  • Blood in the stool (which may be a sign of an ulcer that developed from eating nonfood items). 

  • Bowel problems (such as constipation or diarrhea). 

  • Stomach upset 

How can CPL help?

No matter where you are on your journey, we are ready to help you achieve your goals. Our services aim to support people to reach their full potential through:  

For more information about how we can support you with PICA, visit our services page, call us on 1800 275 753 or send an online enquiry