Doctor insights on:
Person With A Chalk Eating Addiction
I have a recent addiction to eating chalk. Why is this and what is the reason and how to treat it?
Addiction is a condition in which a person has a strong, persistent physical and psychological need for a habit-forming substance (such as alcohol, cigarettes, or cocaine) or an activity (such as gambling). The person usually suffers physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms if he is unable to continue getting what ...Read more
I have a strange addiction to eating coffee grounds throughout the day. I stopped for a while, but the urge has returned. Is this harmful?
How's the iron level: It is interesting that you say you have iron deficiency; the urge to eat odd things like ice or chalk or even dirt can be a sign of iron or other mineral deficiency. It's called 'pica' and given your history i would definitely get your iron level checked. It can also occur in pregnancy but i would assume that's not your situation. Sometimes ocd or obsessive compulsive disorders are the cause. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
See your doctor: Baking soda has no nutritional value but one serving which is one teaspoon can contain 1260 mg of sodium. So your body may be lacking in salt. You should see a doctor for tests to see if you do have low sodium in your blood. Some people do have disorders of eating substances like clay, chalk, ice, etc. You should also see a psychiatrist if it continues and you have no lab abnormalities. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
No: People can develop an addiction at any age. While the overall risk decreases with age it can happen. Example, some people may develop alcohol problems once they retire or a major life stressor, or a "pill" addiction after an injury. These problems may be self limiting or may require help. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Anything in excess: Boredom can be cured easily with meaningful activities. Anyone who repeatedly engages in addictive things (alcohol use, substance use, eating, etc) can develop an addiction. Using a substance to cure the boredom is a very poor choice. Try filling up boredom with work, studies, volunteer activities, exercise, reading, social interaction and other healthy positive coping strategies. ...Read more
Is it possible to stop a 20 year addiction to cocaine? The person does not eveen consider quitting because he doesn't think it is possible.
Yes it's possible: With authentic desire, appropriate professional and personal support, and a treatment plan, it's possible to stop an addiction at any time. Being addicted to Cocaine for such a long time means that treatment could be complicated, but not impossible. However, if the person himself is not interested in quitting, it won't happen. His body may end things with a stroke or heart attack instead. ...Read more
Prevent it??: If you have it already, you can't prevent it. If you are asking how to stop the "pica" (the medical word for eating things that aren't food), first see your primary care provider. It can be associated with iron deficiency, and a physical check up is in order. Second, get a referral to a mental health provider who can help you find the cause and treatment of this problem. ...Read more
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