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Pica

Pica is a condition in which a person craves substances that are not food, such as clay, dirt, ice, or flecks of old paint. Pica can have a physical cause, such as iron deficiency anemia or pregnancy, or it may be due to a psychological problem.

Treatment depends on the cause and may include psychological counseling or medications to reduce the craving.

Last Revised: April 3, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Fred Volkmar, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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