My daughter has always had a bit of a belly but we cannot figure out why. She is not big anywhere else and she eats pretty normal. She does eat paper and just found out that she has been eating small rocks, beads, coins, screws,metal beads etc, anything she finds she sticks in her mouth. I am taking her in to see her doctor but I am worried about what it might be. Scoliosis runs in her dads side of the family and she suffers from frequent belly aches and occasional headaches. I need help.
Her weight is just above the 50th percentile and her height is just above the 25th percentile which indicates she is normal for her age. There is an eating disorder called 'Pica' which children and adults eat non-food objects. Pica occurs more frequently with children. The causes of Pica are unknown, however, certain situations may increase the risk to it such as nutritional deficiencies of iron or zinc (the nonfood items craved usually do not supple the minerals lacking in the body), malnutrition (seen in underdeveloped countries where people will eat clay or soil), development problems (mental disabilities, and autism) and mental health conditions (obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia). Consumption of some non-food object maybe harmless, however, Pica is considered a serious eating disorder that may result in serious health issues such as lead poisoning and iron deficiency anemia. I am not saying she has have Pica, but I do suggest you go to your MD and get checked
Food sensitivity can be associated with a swollen belly and might be worth looking into. Wheat/gluten highly associated with bloating and cramps. Good hydration also important and poor hydration (water intake) is sometimes a cause of headaches. I don't know about eating "non-foods" but I would also check for metal toxicity which can interfere with the body's systems (in particular there is nickel in coins). I believe selenium is a good supplement to help with any toxicity. I would recommend seeing a nutritional therapist. If you were in the UK I would recommend the Institute of Optimum Nutrition which has a children's clinic and also a training clinic (where you would see a qualified practitioner (tutor) and a nutrition student together) and I believe this is free. They are based in Richmond, Surrey. http://www.ion.ac.uk/clinic.htm. If you were to email them they may be able to recommend their nearest equivalent in the US as there are many who claim to be nutritional therapists after a 3 day course. (ION is a foundation degree). If you check out CHEK practitioners in your area (an NLC or HLC level 2 or more may be able to help you). There is a guy called Josh Rubin at the CHEK Institute who may be able to advise you by phone or email. Good luck.
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