Evaluation and Diagnosis
- There are no laboratory tests for pica. Instead, the diagnosis is made from a clinical history of the patient.
- Diagnosing pica should be accompanied by tests for anemia, potential intestinal blockages, and toxic side effects of substances consumed (i.e., lead in paint, bacteria or parasites from dirt).
Individuals with pica crave non-food substances such as ice, dirt, soil, chalk, soap, paper, hair, cloth, wool, pebbles, laundry detergent or cornstarch.
Pica can occur in adults, as well as children and adolescents. That said, this disorder is most frequently observed in children, pregnant women and individuals with mental disabilities.