what is pica syndrome?

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Pica syndrome is an eating disorder that leads to long-term cravings for non-eatable items. A person with pica can have the urge to eat all matter of objects such as coins, chalk, burned match-sticks, clothes, cigarette butts etc.

Causes of pica syndrome

Pica is found more in young children than adults. Nearly 10-32% of children falling between the ages of 1-6 have these behaviors. It can also occur during pregnancy.Usually, a lack of certain nutrients, such as zinc deficiency and iron deficiency, may stimulate the unusual cravings of eating inedible things.

Signs & symptoms

Some of the common signs of pica syndrome include when you find children and adults eat:

  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Paint
  • Animal feces
  • Dirt
  • Ice
  • Hairballs

This pattern of eating should be observed at least for 1 month to diagnose for pica syndrome.

Tests & Diagnosis

There is no single test to confirm pica syndrome. However, as pica syndrome can be seen in people with nutrient deficiency and poor nutrition, the doctor may have to test the levels of iron and zinc in the blood. Blood tests can also be conducted to check for anemia. For children who have eaten paint or other lead covered objects, the healthcare provider has to test the lead levels.


Reasons you are tired all the time


Often, we all tend to blame our too-busy lifestyle for being tired and most of the times we are right about it. But if you are tired all the time even after having enough rest and comfortable work routine you are constantly depending on caffeine to keep you active, you need to find out the reasons behind your tiredness.

If your tiredness is persisting for some time you may have to get yourself tested for anemia (iron deficiency), thyroid problems, heart disease and much more. Even deficiency of vitamin D, allergies or any other medications could be the reasons of your tiredness.


This condition is due to a lack of red blood cells, which result in bringing oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and cells. Shortage of oxygen supply in the body causes frequent or unexplained dizziness, headache and tiredness all the time. Anemia can be caused by vitamin or iron deficiency, internal bleeding, blood loss, or a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, kidney failure, or cancer. Pregnant women are more susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia.

Other symptoms of anemia include brittle nails, pale skin and even after having enough sleep you will feel the need of a constant nap during day time. One should avoid too much intake of caffeine because it can lead to iron deficiency. Iron is an essential to your body to produce hemoglobin which is a part of red blood cells and helps in carrying oxygen in the body.

Vitamin D deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin D is also of the most common reasons of your tiredness. Vitamin D keeps a count of calcium in the body and helps it to keep the bones strong. It plays a crucial role in healthy muscle movement, the nervous system relies on it and it also improves the functionality of the immune system as well as helps in reducing inflammation. So, when your body experiences a lack of vitamin D the bones become softer and lose their strength, rendering you to feel tired all the time.

There are few naturally available sources of vitamin D, including sunlight, fish liver oils, some fish, and egg yolks.


Being overweight is also an important reason and at times a pre-condition for something more serious lifestyle related to health disorder that drains your energy. Overweight may often result in insulin resistance condition, which can lead to pre-diabetes and other serious health issues.

During the process of digestion, food is converted to the forms of sugars such as glucose and sopped up in the blood. As the sugar in the bloodstream increases, the pancreas releases insulin (hormone) to remove sugar from the bloodstream so that it can be used for energy.

Obesity may result in insulin resistance, which means the body cells have reduced its ability to respond to the action of the insulin (hormone). With time people with insulin resistance can high sugars or diabetes.

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7 signs you’re having iron deficiency


Iron is a mineral, which is essential for health and well-being. In the absence of this mineral, most of the functions of the body would malfunction.

The major role that iron plays in the body is to carry oxygen in the blood to all the cells in the body. It is an important component of hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that help in carrying oxygen from the lungs and transports it to all the parts of the body.

Iron deficiency means your body loses the capacity to produce enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Iron deficiency can also result to anemia, which means having too little hemoglobin.

Insufficient iron levels can create chaos all over the body. Given below are seven signs of iron deficiency.

  1. Hair loss

When iron deficiency develops into anemia, can lead to hair loss. In this condition hair follicles do not get enough oxygen, they go into a resting stage, and hair falls out. If you notice excessive hair loss and it is not growing back, this may be because of iron deficiency.

  1. Extreme fatigue and exhaustion

One of the most common signs of iron deficiency is experiencing extreme fatigue and exhaustion. This happens because your body is having trouble to carry oxygen to your cells so it’s exhausting your energy levels.

People with iron deficiency often feel weak, sluggish, and unable to concentrate.

  1. Frequent infections

Iron has a major role in keeping the immune system healthy, so lower levels of the mineral mean you are more susceptible to infections. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the spleen, which is a place where infections can be scraped out.

Red blood cells also transport oxygen to the lymph nodes that is the house of infection-combating white blood cells. When there is an iron deficiency, the white blood cells aren’t being produced as well as they aren’t strong because they’re not getting enough oxygen.

  1. Pale complexion

Having pale skin is often linked with being unwell, and there’s a good reason behind it. Hemoglobin causes the skin to have rosy color, so the lack of hemoglobin causes the skin to become lighter.

Red blood cells with low levels of iron become smaller and paler in the center so makes skin to look paler.

  1. Swollen tongue

Lack of oxygen supply can also result in muscles to enlarge and become painful. It occurs in all the muscles, but the tongue is only you can see. People with iron deficiency usually have cracks on the side of the mouth.

  1. Restless legs syndrome

Some people who have iron deficiency develop restless legs syndrome, which is a disorder that makes you have a strong urge to move your legs. This urge often sparks with an unpleasant, crawling sensation in the legs that can cause difficulty while sleeping.

  1. Pica

In this condition, people who are having iron deficiency may develop cravings for non-food substances, including dirt, chalk, or clay.