The Doctors have met a number of guests who share an uncontrollable urge to eat things most of would never dream of consuming. Often times, these guests are dealing with pica, a disorder that causes an individual to have an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive and these people can also be dealing from an iron deficiency.
Take a look at Kim, who tells us she is addicted to eating kitchen cleanser and has been eating and smelling it since she was 14 years old. The Doctors discover that the years of eating the cleanser has slightly elevated her white cell count in her blood and eroded of her teeth. Gastroenterologist Dr. Sutha Sachar determines Kim has an iron deficiency, which could be causing her to eat and sniff the cleanser. Find out if Kim is ready to finally confront and take on her cleaners eating addiction below.
We also met Tamika, who says she is addicted to eating clay pots. She tells us she ingests 2 to 3 pots per day. She meets with psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow and gastroenterologist Dr. Pradnya Mitroo, who suggests she is suffering from pica and Dr. Mitroo discovers she has a severe lack of iron in her system.
Like Kim and Tamika, Taneah also feels the uncontrollable urge to eat items that do not have any nutritional value. She reveals she had been eating chalk since the age of 3 and told us she keeps chalk in her car, the bathroom, by her bed, under her pillow and with her while at work. “I’ll even break it up in little pieces and put it in a bowl, eat it like potato chips,” she says. As a result of the chalk eating, Taneah experiences frequent severe bouts of diarrhea and other GI issues. After being assessed, it was suggested that Taneah may also have been dealing with pica.
The Doctors recommend that if you or a loved one has a compulsion to eat a substance that is damaging to your health and cannot stop, to please seek help.