National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Skip to the navigation

It is possible that the main title of the report Pica is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Eating Disorder, Pica Type
  • Pica Eating Disorder

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Pica is an eating disorder that is characterized by the repeated eating of non-nutritive substances over a period of one month or longer. Patients may eat non-edible objects such as paint, plaster, dirt, ice, or laundry starch. Pica generally affects small children, pregnant women, and people whose cultural environment is most compatible with the eating of non-food items.

Supporting Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

Mental Health America

2000 N. Beauregard Street, 6th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22314-2971
Tel: (703)684-7722
Fax: (703)684-5968
Tel: (800)969-6642
Email: infoctr@mentalhealthamerica.net
Website: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases

Office of Communications & Public Liaison
Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Tel: (301)496-3583
Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
Website: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Mental Health

Health Science Writing, Press and Dissemination Branch
6001 Executive Boulevard
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Tel: (301)443-4513
Fax: (301)443-4279
Tel: (866)615-6464
Email: nimhinfo@nih.gov
Website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

National Alliance on Mental Illness

3803 N. Fairfax Drive
Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203-
Tel: (703)524-7600
Fax: (703)524-9094
Tel: (800)999-6264
Email: membership@nami.org
Website: http://www.nami.org

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

Attn: Marion Mealing
9605 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: (240)403-1901
Fax: (240)403-1909
Email: ffcmh@ffcmh.org
Website: http://www.ffcmh.org

National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse

1211 Chestnut Street
Suite 1207
Philadelphia, PA 19107-6312
Tel: (215)751-1810
Fax: (215)636-6312
Tel: (800)553-4539
Email: info@mhselfhelp.org
Website: http://www.mhselfhelp.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  1/11/1970
Copyright  2009 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.