How do I stop eating slate and pencils?
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Sir i am eating slate penciles past 6 years i want to stop it now. so please help me sir.
Posted Sat, 11 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 1 hour later
Brief Answer: PICA IS THE DISORDER - TREATMENT OUTLINED Detailed Answer: Hello Thanks for writing to us with your health concern. You are suffering from a disorder called ' PICA '. In this condition, the individual is habituated to eating non food substances such as lead, chalk, clay, sand, soap, even glass sometimes. Slate pencils mainly contain chalk - this is one of the commonest cravings. The underlying cause is often deficiency of minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium. Often, due to long term consumption of such substances, there is worm infestation of the gut also, which further complicates the picture. Also, there is underlying psychological disturbance, which might exaggerate the habit. For such a patient coming to me, I would first get the following investigations done - 1. Hemoglobin 2. Calcium levels 3. Zinc levels 4. Folate levels These tests will confirm the underlying deficiency. Accordingly, iron tablets and calcium supplements would be started. Multivitamin capsules such as A to Z capsules daily should be started also. FOr 3 months after this therapy, you would automatically feel a decline in the cravings. If they persist, then you might need to seek psychological assistance. Behavioural modification therapies are often needed to correct this disorder. All the best. Please feel free to ask for further clarifications.