Anything useful for pica (craving dirt, chalk) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-20-2010, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey - just wondering if anyone has experienced pica (craving dirt, chalk, etc.) during pregnancy and if there was anything that helped (such as a supplement, if there was a mineral that they were lacking, a food substitute they could snack on to help cravings go away).

The only thing that helped (and only a little) during my last pregnancy was eating NUTS a lot towards the end of pregnancy.

I'm 33 weeks now and the cravings have started again - my mouth just waters seeing ordinary dirt, street asphalt, gritty soil, chalk, etc.... it's crazy and pure torture because I'm seriously craving stuff and can't do anything to help it go away - nuts don't seem to help me out much this time.

Oh - and my iron levels are great, I take a good food-based pre-natal vitamin(s), calcium/magnesium, fish oil, and alfalfa.

Rachel, mom to 5 children and expecting another in 2014!

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#2 of 10 Old 06-20-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Pica is a form of anemia, so you're iron deficient. I would DEFINITELY mention it to your HCP and have a CBC blood draw done to look at your iron levels and vit B's. In the meantime, try to eat a lot of iron rich foods like dark green veggies and red meat.

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#3 of 10 Old 06-20-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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I used Real Salt (http://www.realsalt.com/) previously and it helped. It is processed to retain all the natural minerals.

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#4 of 10 Old 06-20-2010, 10:51 PM
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Oh, I'm so totally bookmarking this.
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#5 of 10 Old 06-20-2010, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleRain View Post
Pica is a form of anemia, so you're iron deficient. I would DEFINITELY mention it to your HCP and have a CBC blood draw done to look at your iron levels and vit B's. In the meantime, try to eat a lot of iron rich foods like dark green veggies and red meat.
Most places I've read say the cause is unknown and that dietary professionals "think" it "could be" iron or other deficiencies. I just had my iron levels tested and they are great. They were fine during my last pregnancy as well when I also craved the same non-food stuff. I eat grass-fed beef - could probably up my salad and spinach, etc. green intake a little. (Partly why I'm supplementing with alfalfa).

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Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post
I used Real Salt (http://www.realsalt.com/) previously and it helped. It is processed to retain all the natural minerals.
I looked this up - says I can get it probably from a Super Target (there's one real close to me) - I will for sure try this!!! I use sea salt now but this may be a large improvement over that. Hoping this helps! Maybe my body (in the last trimester here) is wanting more salt (and stuff in the salt) to retain some water in prep for labor, birth and recovery - ???

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#6 of 10 Old 06-21-2010, 02:10 AM
 
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Celtic Sea Salt is also reputed to be very high in minerals that you may need. Not sure how it compares to the other, but might be worth a try if you can't find it.

Have you tried supplementing B vitamins, which is the other half of anemia? Also, do you have a baseline iron level to compare to? It's conceivable that if your normal levels are quite high that even a "great" level during pregnancy could be substantially lower - kwim? I know I've never been anemic, yet I have lots of signs of it (well, mostly inexplicable fatigue), so I'm trying to help with Floradix on the idea that maybe my iron is lower than *I* need it, even if it's officially within the normal range.

You might also think about what other kinds of minerals are in these things... Calcium? I know you said you're taking cal/mag, which are the two things I think of (other than iron). Can you increase your supplement or food intake?

FWIW, I remember loving to suck on pieces of chalk as a kid. I'd never say it was pica (I didn't eat it, I just liked something about it, weird as it is), but it just came to mind thinking about your cravings!

I hope you find something that helps! I know having insatiable cravings is never pleasant, but especially when it's non-food, it's gotta be really hard.

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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#7 of 10 Old 06-21-2010, 02:15 AM
 
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I also searched on abchomeopathy.com and found the remedy Nitricum Acidum listed for the symptom "Longing for indigestible things - chalk, earth, etc."

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.

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#8 of 10 Old 06-21-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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Cheap popsicles - the slightly crunchy texture was awesome! It was the only thing that came close to what I was craving.
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#9 of 10 Old 06-21-2010, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had my iron levels tested late second trimester and they were within the "normal" range. I had them tested again recently (third trimester) and the level was even higher (better).

I don't think I can up my cal/mag intake. I can possibly up my B vitamins (I admit I haven't taken a separate vit B - just relied on the fact that there's some in the "overall" supplement I take, occasionally taking my vit b supplement about 3x a week).

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#10 of 10 Old 07-17-2014, 05:12 PM
 
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Talk about cravings

If anyone is interested in sharing their pica cravings stories please write to us at www.specialdeliverytv.com
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