Eating and elimination disorders, while seemingly distinct in their manifestations, share a common thread: they both represent disruptions in fundamental human processes. These disruptions, often deeply rooted in a combination of physiological, psychological, and environmental factors, can significantly impact an individual’s daily life and overall well-being. This chapter delves into the intricate nature of these disorders, aiming to provide a comprehensive understanding of their origins, clinical presentations, and the multifaceted approaches to treatment.

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Eating disorders

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, are often associated with underlying psychological issues, including trauma and stressor-related disorders. The onset and maintenance of these eating disorders may be influenced by a variety of factors, including traumatic experiences and stress. After reviewing this chapter you will understand these relationships and have more insight into the treatment and management of these conditions.


  • Characterized by the persistent consumption of non-food substances for at least one month, which is developmentally inappropriate and not culturally sanctioned.
    • Differentiated from non-suicidal self-injurious behaviors because pica patients usually do not swallow harmful objects
  • Risk factors:
    • Neglect, developmental delay
    • Similar rates in males and females
  • Common substances consumed include paper, soap, cloth, hair, string, wool, soil, chalk, talcum powder, paint, gum, metal, pebbles, charcoal, ash, clay, starch, or ice (pagophagia).
  • Associated conditions:
    • Intellectual disability
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Iron deficiency
    • Pregnancy.
  • Onset: most often in childhood
  • Treatment:
    • Address underlying medical and psychiatric conditions
    • Behavioral interventions
    • Ensure a safe environment to minimize risks
Table of the Clinical Complications of Pica
Clinical Complications of Pica


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