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eating unedible substances

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by kgord, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I have seen people on TV that are addcited to eating non foodstuffs like chalk, soap, little pieces of slate and other things. I think it has a huge anxiety component and maybe some sort of nutrients that are missing from the body. Have you heard of any of these addicitons? I think they are potentially every bit as harmful as substances.
  2. LoveEcho

    LoveEcho Community Champion

    I've seen this a lot on tv and online, it's called Pica.

    I think in most real cases it's caused by mineral deficiency. But, I've watched shows on TLC where people eat couch cushions and stuff, I'm not sure if those stories are real or if they made it up. They're the people that brought us Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, I don't trust them.

    [​IMG]

    The contents removed from the stomach of a person diagnosed with Pica.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  3. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I've heard about people doing this. I even saw a video about a man in India eating bricks. I really don't know what causes people to do these kinds of things. It couldn't be a lack of nutrition because things that aren't edible have no nutrients. I think it has to do with some mental disorder that has to be studied more carefully.
  4. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    In India one man eats mud and bricks since the age of 10 years old and it is interesting how these people can do that and not suffer from any pain, or have any problems in the body from this which is strange to look at them doing that. I think these people have a disorder or could be recovering from a trauma, even a death of loved one, which can cause stress and sadness to the mind and body as well. Some people can enjoy doing these sort of things and also eating cushion or even wallpaper is shocking and also makes me think why they are having this problem, and need to talk about the issue and not do this sort of thing.
  5. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I've read about people going through pregnancy suffering from this. I think it's often a nutrient thing - that they are deficient in something and then seek it out in substances like dirt, for instance.

    I don't know anyone personally that has suffered from it though. I imagine it would be pretty tough and also embarrassing for the individual to deal with.
  6. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    This condition called Pica can arise from some sort of deficiency or even stress. I remember a news about this one patient who ate dirt. Turns out, she was deficient in iron. Another one I remember was a documentary about a girl who ate her own hair. She was really depressed and so resorted to eating her hair. She was operated on and doctors found lots of hair in her stomach and intestine.
  7. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    All the cases of Picca I have heard about involve small objects, I have never heard about people eating cushions though o_O That sounds a little too much, and I kinda have the feeling that is done only for the show. As you said I think it's caused by mineral deficiencies... my sister used to eat the heads of the matches when she was younger, as well as other things you are not supposed to eat.
  8. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    A mineral deficiency? It sounds more like a brain cell deficiency. Eating mud makes more sense than anything cause it is dirt and water. There are nutrients in there. Dogs sometimes eat dirt and so do vegans on their produce.
    It's almost like they are retarded and hitting their head up against a wall. I mean who would want to eat crap like that accept a 2 year old child? I think they just come up with anything on reality television to make money. Sorry but I don't buy it as a legitimate addiction.
  9. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I haven't watched the tv show that was mentioned, but I think that if it has already been recognized as a legitimate addiction, then I guess it's real. I have only watched a girl that would eat her hair, and the other more dangerous stuff they have been eating I have not heard of until now.
  10. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    Well, when I was young I would often chew off the rubber from my erasers. But I got scolded by the school teacher regularly and eventually stopped this silly habit. I know of many folks who tend to chew their nails or hair, it actually drives me up the wall watching them do that. Generally, I steer clear of anything that is not meant to be eaten as it's better to be safe than sorry.
  11. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    I was just thinking of that and then saw this thread. I've seen shows like that where they eat chalk, even bleach. It's crazy. It's demonic plain and simple.
  12. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    When I was a little child, I used to eat glue, chalk and many other odd, inedible things in order to scare the other kids (and it worked!). I was not addicted to it though, even if I was doing it frequently. And I second your statement. People who get addicted to eating those most probably lack minerals, I don't see any other reason to do this. Why they prefer to get their "vitamins" through inedible stuff instead of actual food is still a mystery.
  13. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Capucin monkeys will often bang rocks together and eat the resulting dust. This is believed to be their way of ensuring they get all the minerals they need. So I suspect that this is true of human beings too. - just an innate bodily reaction.
  14. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I have also watched some shows and in the news about those cases where people are eating other stuffs than foods. Someone eats her hair because of a health condition I forgot what it is called. Others are eating nails, bulbs, paper, blades and other stuffs for a show.
  15. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    Yep, I've watched shows on this before, and read about it a bit. It sounds very much like a mental disorder brought on by malnutrition. I'm not sure if that would qualify as a straight-up addiction, since a seemingly-unavoidable stimulus is triggering the need to eat these items, rather than the gradual development of a habit that changes your body's biochemistry.

    Very strange disorder, too. I'm not too keen on eating rocks. But I can understand where it comes from.
  16. ReadmeByAmy

    ReadmeByAmy Community Champion

    Sad to say I really don't know the reason why these people are doing these things. But anyway I am not here to judge them because I do not know what they are going through in their life if they have problems, depression, fears, worries or whatever to make them to do these things.
  17. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    I have a memory of seeing a girl on TV eating her hair. When they removed irlt, it was the shape of her stomach! Now I know this condition has a name, thanks. I also have been hearing about girls eating inedible objects like cotton balls in order to lose weight. I hope these people get help.
  18. KennedyBaby19

    KennedyBaby19 Active Contributor

    I've seen plenty of shows on this, its pretty disturbing really. I watched a show about this man who would eat glass! Its amazing that some of the people don't have serious health issues from this disease!