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Pica-I keep eating egg shells..why?
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Pica-I keep eating egg shells..why?

I started when i was 16 years old.. eating egg shells. When I left for college, it stopped.  Now I am 33 years old and it has started again.. I am now a single parent and I work but I can't figure out why I have such a craving for egg shells (I just like to crunch on them).  At first I tried to ignore the problem but now it is starting to consume me.. At night I get the taste to chew and crunch only on them and skip dinner. Or if I eat a lot of food then afterwards I want to crunch on egg shells.  I noticed before that when I was busy I didn't get the craving but now it comes alot more. I am concerned about this eating disorder because I don't know what is in egg shells and it could cause some type of biological problem for me in the long run.. I wanted to tell my doctor but i feel ashame to bring it up to her.  I am over weight and at first I thought maybe this was a good thing because it would keep me away from wrong foods, but now it feels more like an addiction.  Can someone tell me what to do, and are egg shells dangerous to consume... I didn't even know the symptom I had was called Pica... eating disorder.. can someone please help me. I continue to pray and I am trying to avoid the cravings by reading the Bible... thank you in advance...Roxanne
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Roxanne,

       Pica is the persitent consumption of nonnutritive substances for a period of at least one month.  I am not a nutrionist but I don't think there is any nutritional value associated with the eggshell and it is not digestable which can be a risk for bowel obstruction.  Eggshells also can cause trauma to the gastrointestinal tract as they are very sharp.  Additional concerns are food poisoning from the bacteria salmonella.  After discussing this issue further with poison control I have found no other potential toxicities or problems.  
       Pica can present on its own as part of mental retardation, during pregnancy or another mental disorder.  Rarely, it is found in those who have a specific vitamin or mineral deficiency.  I suggest that you have a psychiatric and medical evaluation to clarify this issue.  I hope this was helpful.

Sincerely,

HFHS MD-JM

Keywords:  Pica, eggshell consumption
6 Comments
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Funny maybe only to me but my sister has cravings for New Vans suede sneakers. She is not a wierdo nor am I. She is 37, has 1 child and works out alot. Also she has thyroid problems (on meds)and has been dieting at 5'7" approx. 140lbs. I thought of iron,she does not have a fetish. Her son is 7yrs and she is sort of unhappily married for 10yr
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Don't feel weird.  I have consumed baking powder for at least 19 years.  I can eat up to a can or more a week.  There have been times when I first started eating it that I would eat it with sharp cheddar cheese, other times it was chocolate.  I have dipped all other types of things in baking powder and have eaten it.  I am addicted to it.  I love to just look at it and love to talk about it and love to see the can.  It's crazy and sometimes I think I am.  But lately I have read so many stories and I realize I am not.  I know that I have pica, my iron level is half of what it should be and taking iron medicine makes me extremely naucious.(SP)  I want to know if this is harmful to me.  Can anyone help me answer this question?  You can send direct replys to ***@****.  Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn

Your iron deficiancy may be caused by low amounts of B-12 and floic acid.

I was iron anemic until I started taking large doses of B-12 500-100 mg a day and folic acid the highest amount the over the counter has to offer. Your doctor can prescribe higher amounts.

Those vitamins are also important in building blood cells just as iron and if you are deficiant in either one your body will not be able to abosorb the iron you are getting in your foods. I also get bad stomach aches from iron in vitamins.

I don't have Pica, my thing is anxiety, depression and sleep disorders leading to alcoholism.
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My problem is that I love to chew on paper.  Thought I've never really swallowed any paper I continue to chew.  Can this adversely affect me???  Please advise.
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My problem is that I love to chew on paper.  Thought I've never really swallowed any paper I continue to chew.  Can this adversely affect me???  Please advise.
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I have had this unsatifiable hunger for waxy shoe polish.
I first started snifffing the can....then would eat a chunk but spit it out before i swallowed it.
This craving became terrible but i was obseesed with the can of shoe polish.
I hadn't been feeling well for 6 months before this started.
Then i got weaker and weaker until i was rushed to the ER.
My hemaglobin qas 5.1 and i was totally iron deficient.
NO WONDER i was craving weird things.
But after just 2 units of blood the craving went totally away.
If you have wierd cravings...seek medical help.
cheryl
***@****
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I eat igenous rocks. Mmmmmmmmmmm...
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