Here is what causes the eating disorder pica and 3 ways to naturally treat it

Here is what causes the eating disorder pica and 3 ways to naturally treat it

The eating disorder Pica is defined as the persistent ingestion of nonnutritive substances for at least 1 month, at an age for which this behavior is developmentally inappropriate. Scientific research, has been able to pinpoint what causes pica, and it has been established that: Pica is a nutritional problem. But, there are 3 ways to naturally treat it!


The eating disorder pica has been on the rise with reports that, in-patient stays for pica, have sharply increased by 93% since 1999. The answer to such staggering reports is the fact that pica is a manifestation of Iron deficiency. The sharp rise of pica related hospitalizations is easily explained when we look at the statistics from The Word Health Organization, that estimates that “2 billion people – over 30% of the world’s population – are anaemic, many due to iron deficiency…”

It is well established, that Iron deficiency is the driving force in the developing of the eating disorder pica. For example: A study on 262 anaemic adults who needed the treatment with intravenous iron dextran, found that 45% of the patients reported pica. The patient’s suffering from pica had a higher mean total iron-binding capacity and lower serum ferritin. It was concluded therefore that iron deficiency or depletion, lower age is a significant predictor of pica.

But, the eating disorder pica is not explained by Iron deficiency alone, as there are other studies that have observed that people who suffer from pica have low plasma zinc. In this study, 31 children with pica had their blood tested, and compared to the results of the control group (60 children). It was found that, the plasma Fe level in children with pica was about 20% lower than that in controls. Plasma Zn levels in the pica group was about 45% lower than those in controls. The results suggest suggest that hypozincemia with low iron levels may be the possible cause of pica.

Now that we what causes the eating disorder pica, here are 3 ways to naturally treat it!

1) Supplements


Supplements go a long way if you know you are anaemic and have started showing signs of pica. But while tacking anaemia with Iron supplements or other prescribed medications will improve overall symptoms, it is important for those who suffer from the eating disorder pica to understand, that the best long term resolution is to start consuming foods that are rich in Iron and Zinc.


Diet will go a long way when dealing with nutritional deficiencies. So, boost your levels of zinc and Iron with foods that are rich in these nutrients.

3)Buy an Iron cast cooking pot

Yes, boosting your Iron levels can be that simple. Try to cook in iron cast pots, as it is proven that doing it can significantly increases the amount of iron in your foods.

If you know you are anaemic or started showing signs of pica. Do not leave it alone! Get a blood test and tackle this eating disorder that can become extreme causing mental damage and physical damage, which can even lead to death. Other reasons to keep your Iron levels balanced are that Iron deficiency can cause changes in gene expression, it has been linked to celiac disease, and also impacts children's brains.