Pica Eating Disorder During Pregnancy

pregnant woman belly

During pregnancy, a lot of women experience severe changes in their hormones that affect their bodies. These hormones will affect their mood and can also affect their food cravings.

Most women will develop weird food cravings that they wouldn’t normally like. Mixing pickles with deserts is a great example. But when pregnant women start to crave non-food items, then it might be a red flag that there is something else going on in their bodies.

What is Pica Eating Disorder?

Pica eating disorder is a condition where patients compulsively eat non-food items that have no nutritional value. The name is derived from the Latin name of a bird that would eat almost anything.

A lot of women experience a significant change in their appetite during pregnancy. They might start to hate certain types of food that they have long liked or they might develop a craving for certain food items that they never liked before. Pica eating happens during pregnancy and might automatically stop after giving birth. When women develop a Pica eating disorder, they start to eat weird non-food items like clay, chalk, dirt, burnt matches, soap, plaster, and charcoal.

What Causes Pica?

There isn’t one single cause for Pica but most doctors believe that it is a combination of several factors. Most doctors believe that it could be attributed to the changes in hormones that are associated with pregnancy. Pica eating can also be associated with vitamins and iron deficiency. This is why your doctor might run several blood tests to make sure that you have normal and healthy levels of iron, zinc and other vitamins or minerals.

Pica eating is not very common in pregnant women. As a matter of fact, it is more common in kids who would try several non-food items out of curiosity.

Is Pica Dangerous?

This depends on what you eat. Some non-food items will contain dangerous and toxic ingredients that might cause a lot of problems. Most people who engage in Pica eating might suffer from constipation or cramping. But some people suffer from intestinal obstruction when they eat things that can’t be absorbed by the body.

Non-food items that contain lead or other harmful materials can lead to a lot of serious health problems and present a real danger that could jeopardize your pregnancy and even your life. Consuming sharp objects can put you at a risk of internal bleeding. In the best scenario, when you are not consuming toxic or dangerous materials, Pica eating will show that you are suffering from a certain vitamin or mineral deficiency. This should be properly treated because it can affect the development of the fetus.

How to Treat Pica during Pregnancy?

Most of the time, your doctor will prescribe you some vitamins and minerals to make sure that you are getting all the nutrients you need. Supplements will not help stop your Pica eating disorder but they will ensure that your baby and your body are getting the essential nutrients they need.

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Pica Eating Disorder v. Pica Disease: Steak

Pica eating disorder is observed commonly observed in pregnant women, children, and those people suffering from developmental disabilities. It is an eating disorder that involves ingesting objects that are not food and does not contain a significant nutritional value. The cause of pica eating disorder is not yet clear, although the physiological, cultural and psychosocial, and sensory of the person is assessed. Pica eating disorder is prevalent in underdeveloped countries.

In a further research, causes of pica suggest that the order is a specific appetite caused by mineral deficiency. It is also been associated with a mental disorder, the obsessive-compulsive spectrum and schizophrenia, however, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) has recognized pica eating disorder as a mental disorder.

How bad is pica eating disorder?

The persistence of the person to consume substances that are not food and has no nutritional value lasts at least for a month. Typical substances that are eaten are sharp objects (acuphagia), starch (amylophagia), burnt matches (cautopyreiophagia), dust (coprophagia), stones (lithiophagia), mucus (mucophagia), ice (pagophagia), lead (plumbophagia), hair, wool and other fiber substances (trichophagia), urine (urophagia), feces (coprophagia), vomit (emetophagia), blood (hematophagia), raw potatoes (geomelophagia), glass (hyalophagia), dirt, soil, and clay (geophagia), wood, paper, or any derivatives of wood (xylophagia).

These substances when ingested can cause physical obstruction of the intestine (intestinal obstruction or mechanical obstruction), it prevents food and water from passing through the intestines. Bezoars can also happen, it is a lump of indigestible objects trapped in the gastrointestinal tract. It is not different if the person has a hole in the walls of its stomach or intestines, pica causes intestinal perforations. Moreover, pica eating disorder can also cause infections and poisoning, due to the incidence that the person might ingest an object with feces, dirt or heavy metal poisoning.

The only treatment for pica eating disorder is to correct the mineral or nutritional deficiency of the person and develop an effective behavioral therapy to redirect the attention of the person suffering from pica eating disorder.

Pica Eating Disorder in Steak? No. It’s Pica Disease.

On the other hand, there is a disease found in cattle and livestock, named pica. Pica occurs during a shortage of minerals in the soil, more importantly, if it is the mineral phosphorus or magnesium is lacking in vegetation. Pica can be evident with livestock through persistent licking, chewing or eating wood and soil.

Pica is caused by sporadic events and herd outbreaks. Although the cause is largely unknown, studies suggest that it can be from metabolic disorders, mineral deficiency, and subclinical ketosis, and subclinical acidosis.

Whenever pica disease is manifested by the animal, it must be removed to prevent from spreading to the rest of the group.

Just like with the human pica eating disorder, pica disease in animals can also be prevented by providing extra roughage, supplementing the mineral and nutritional deficiency.

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How to Have a Perfect Steak

Pat the steak until it is dry, before doing anything to the steak.

Season the steak aggressively. Shower the steak with salt high enough above the steak that it disperses evenly over the entire surface.

Perfectly sear the steak by heating the surface. If the steak is thicker than 1.5 inches, have a secondary cooking area. It can be a preheated oven or a grill that has less intense indirect heat.

After the steak is perfectly seared on both sides, transfer the steak to the secondary area and let the steak cook until it is 120 degrees Fahrenheit for a rare steak, 140 degrees Fahrenheit for a medium steak, or 160 degrees Fahrenheit for well. Although it is not recommended to cook the steak until 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the steak rest, do not immediately cut off the steak. The juices of the steak will leak onto the board.

Slice the steak with a style. For the tenderest slice, slice against the grain; for a chewier steak like flank, tri-tip, and London broil, they are best sliced thinly; stips, rib eyes, and tenderloins are finely sliced thicker.

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Best Ways to Grill a Steak

Cowboy Steak with Coffee and Chili Rub

Coffee and beef may be an unusual pair of food, but to perfectly compliment a robust flavor of a steak, an espresso-chili rub is the best. Give the steak a caramelized crust by adding a smoky and spicy flavor.

Whole Beef Tenderloin with Cherry Tomato Salsa

The garlic, rosemary and balsamic-spiced salsa from the burst cherry tomatoes made it a steakhouse-worthy grilled beef.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Homemade Corn Tortillas

Basically, it is a modified taco recipe. The seasoned skirt steak slices are accompanied with homemade corn tortillas, lime crème Fraiche, and jalapeno-spiked tomatillo to achieve a worthwhile steak that has a mix of sweet, spicy, and zesty flavor.

Grilled Rib Eyes with Sautéed Broccoli and Oysters

This is a grilled rib-eye steak topped with a creamy oyster sauce, the platter is served with ginger-garlic broccoli and oyster at the side.

Tri-tip steak with Tomato Romesco

Bottom sirloin cut is harder, however, the Romesco sauce from Catalonia covers up the stiffness. The tomato, garlic and sherry vinegar condiment possesses unique crunch and flavor.