What causes pica during pregnancy?

What causes pica during pregnancy?

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Pica is the term used to describe having an intense craving for – and eating – nonfood items, such as soil, clay, laundry starch, ice, ashes, plaster, paint chips, and coffee grounds. Pica, which comes from the Latin word for magpie (a bird known for eating almost anything), is a worldwide phenomenon that seems to be more common during pregnancy.

No one knows what causes these unusual cravings, but a combination of biochemical, psychological, and cultural factors may be at work. In some studies, pica has been linked to iron deficiency – even though none of the craved items contained a significant amount of iron. There is some research suggesting that iron-deficiency anemia is associated with a craving for ice, and that treating the anemia can lessen ice consumption.

But craving nonfood items doesn't necessarily mean you have any sort of deficiency. And it definitely doesn't mean you should consume them: Eating nonfood substances can interfere with your body's ability to absorb nutrients and may even cause a deficiency. And eating ice is not likely to be harmful (except possibly to your teeth), but eating other nonfood items may lead to health problems, such as lead poisoning or bowel blockage.

If you have any strong cravings for nonfood items, be sure to talk to your physician or midwife. Although this kind of craving does occur in healthy pregnant women, it's worth getting checked for any underlying physical or psychological problem that could affect you or your baby. And just talking with your practitioner about these feelings may help you deal with them in a healthy way.

Watch the video: 33 WEEKS PREGNANT. PICA, ANAEMIA, FED UP (January 2023).

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