Pica

Pica:

Is a relatively rare condition characterized by eating non-nutritive substances (paper, ice or dirt). A nutritional deficiency of zinc or iron may trigger the unusual cravings. The practice may be an indication of malnutrition. Pica can be a habituated carry-over from childhood or can be a practice by adults who crave a certain texture in their mouths. Pica can result in complications such as malnutrition, lead toxicity (if paint is ingested), infection (if contaminated soil or animal waste is ingested), abdominal or intestinal obstruction.