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Pica is a disorder where an individual has a strong, persistent desire to eat, lick, or chew nonnutritive substances for a period of at least 1 month. The name Pica comes from the Latin word for "magpie," which is a bird that's known for eating anything and everything.


Although the cravings associated with Pica may be related to vitamin or mineral deficiencies, ingesting non-foods can cause serious medical complications such as intestinal obstruction, intestinal perforation, infections, or lead poisoning.


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