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Active Questions

I have pica, and I don't know how to get rid of it.
Diet & Health / 3:21 PM - Monday April 13, 2009

I have pica, and I don't know how to get rid of it.

Pica is an eating disorder where you eat things that are not food.

In my case, I eat soap. I crave it, and I have to have it whenever I do crave it.

I keep a piece of it in what ever hand bag I'm carrying, and I eat entire bars of soap.

This has been going on Most of my life, about 7 years, but it has gotten worse in the last 3.

I can't afford to go to a doctor, and, quitting cold turkey is out of the question, because, I don't know if that is possible for someone suffering from pica.

I don't know what to do.

I don't want to continue being like this, it makes me feel weird to know that as an adult, I suffer from this.

- Asked by Female, 26-28

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So now that everybody is busy "googlin" this... My sister used to eat sand... She wasn't retarded or anything, she just had to have sand. We tried subbing in salt thinking that she 'needed' sodium, nice try! Ended up that she had to substitute dill pickles and smelling salts (ammonia) consistently to develop an aversion to the practice. Took over a year of work to finally break the disorder... But you need to talk to a doctor about this before trying anything on your own...

- Response by siouxzen, A Career Woman, Female, Who Cares?, Los Angeles, Self-Employed

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Well first of all, you don't have a clear definition of PICA..that normally is the impulse to put almost anything in your mouth, partcular to some Mentally Retarded people. You do have a compulsive behavior that needs treatment...other than that you need to learn math..if it has been happening "most of your life" and I take your youngest age to b 18, then it didn't happen for 11 out of 18 years....but if you are 13 or younger, then your statement that it has been going on most of your life..7 years would be correct...

- Response by phoenixbandit, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Columbus, Law Enforcement

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Gosh..have you tried researching it on the internet....Are you deficient in some vitamin,mineral in your diet possibly? Is there a free clinic maybe that you could go to for medical help...???

- Response by lady4u, A Married Girl, Female, 56-65, Cincinnati, Who Cares?

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I find this absolutly fascinating. Do you have a favorite brand? How did you start eating soap? Did you have a "dirty" mouth and your parents would wash it out with soap? Are you concerned about going blind due to soap poisoning?

I'm sorry i can not provide any help with your problem, but i'm very interested to hear more about it.

- Response by guy5432, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 36-45, New York, Who Cares?

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This is the strangest thing I've ever heard aside from watching As good as it gets. I quit smoking I'm sure you can quit eating soap!!!

- Response by melodyalise, A Thinker, Female, 36-45, Salt Lake City, Managerial

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This is a dumb question, but I must ask it. Do you have bubbles come out of your nose or mouth when you eat this soap? Does your stomach hurt you latter on after you do this? I agree find a free clinic in your town and go see how this effects your body. This has to be dangerous for you inside.

- Response by chantelshome, A Thinker, Female, 46-55, Minneapolis, Transportation

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I am hearing that you can't afford a physician to help you with this issue. You can attempt to do some self help. Do an online search of the nutrient deficiencies associated with PICA. Then look at the amounts of those nutrients that can be safely added to your diet without toxicity. That will also be online. You can add supplements to your diet and see if this helps. Like other addictions and cravings you then must examine the times you tend to participate in this behavior. Changing your schedule of doing things...or where you do them as well as adding new behaviors or subtracting triggers can also help you.
You might try introducing a food substance that has the consistency of soap although it's unlikely to work because smell is part of the satiation signal.
Keep a detailed journal of the supplements you are taking and how much. And keep track of your progress with cutting down on the times you are eating the soap.
Note whatever triggers you may discover as you are working to cease the behavior entirely.

- Response by joybird, A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Therapist

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You really need to see a doctor, but it sounds very fascinating. I used to crave dirt, but only for a short while.

- Response by voodoo68, A Hippie Chick, Female, 46-55, Medical / Dental

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