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Habit of eating carpet - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Eating Disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
I need to speak to someone confidentially about my sister
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Dr XXX here
Doctor :   How can i help you?
User :   Hello
User :   I needed to speak to someone regarding my sister in confidence
Doctor :   Ok, please continue it will be purely confidential.
User :   My sister has been eating carpet for a couple of months...
User :   she doesnt know why
Doctor :   May i know her age?
User :   shes stopped now though
User :   shes 19
Doctor :   Does she have any other abnormal symptoms?
User :   no
User :   her stool is normal
User :   and she wont go to our gp..
Doctor :   How did she suddenly start eating carpet? Has she stopped it by now herself?
User :   she doesnt know how it started..
User :   but yes shes managed to stop it
Doctor :   Is she under any kind of mental stress? Is she on any medications?
User :   no
User :   i just wanted to ask is this dangerous?
Doctor :   Does she share her feelings with the family?
User :   yes, shes normally really open, but she found this embarassing and only confided in me.
Doctor :   Eating any kind of foreign material is harmful and can lead to infections, stone formation, intestinal colic etc.
Doctor :   It may be because of any mineral deficiency also. Does she have a proper and balanced diet?
User :   Her diet is ok..not perfect
User :   what would you recommend?
Doctor :   1)Give Tab A to Z daily one for few months.
Doctor :   Also get her Blood tests and Electrolytes tested.
Doctor :   Since she has stopped it now it is fine but if she continues get her counseled by a Psychotherapist who can examine her and listen and talk to her
User :   What symptoms should we look out for? could this lead to cancer?
Doctor :   Look out if there are any behavioral changes, excessive talkative or shyness, tiredness, fatigue. It can be serious if she continues and the system is not cleared.
Doctor :   Since any foreign material is accumulated in the intestine and is not cleared up it can be fatal
User :   how would it be cleared?
Doctor :   That is why it should be stopped, if not too much has been eaten up then it will be cleared up by itself.
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