What is pica?

Alexander Kofinas M.D.

Pica is an insatiable appetite for non-nutritional materials such as ice, clay, wall plaster, etc. Patients with pica suffer nutritional deficiencies because their appetite for non-nutritional foods often leads to an under consumption of ÒregularÓ foods (i.e. nutritional foods). It is unclear what causes women to develop pica, although iron deficiency has been associated with it.