Natalie Hayhurst is not your ordinary 3-year-old when it comes to food. Kids her age tend to be picky with what they want to eat. She’s not.
She loves makesup, Justin Bieber and playing with her big brother on their farm outside Indiana.
Back to the food. She eats everything. Literally. Natalie suffers from a rare condition called Pica that creates a compulsion to eat things that aren’t food, Good Morning America reports.
Wikipedia defines Pica as “a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g., metal, clay, coal, sand, dirt, soil, feces, chalk, pens and pencils, paper, batteries, spoons, toothbrushes, soap, mucus, latex gloves, ash, gum, lip balm, contact lenses, tacks and other office supplies, etc.)”
Colleen Hayhurst, Natalie’s mom narrated:
“Well, I first noticed it was a problem … when she had actually eaten my vinyl blinds that hang out to cover your sliding door. She took two bites out of them. She prefers the wood, paper products, cardboard, sticks. She’ll eat rocks, dirt; she’s had a bite out of a Diet Coke can; she’s eaten the little magnet out of the shower curtain, plastic bottles, toys.”
Last February, Natalie was rushed to the emergency room after eating a light bulb. Doctors performed surgery to remove the glass.
Doctors say these unusual cravings can be triggered by a lack of certain nutrients like iron or zinc. Some with Pica crave the texture of some materials in their mouths.
To curb her cravings, Natalie currently works with a therapist. She is also sprayed on her tongue with a sour spray that helps satisfy her need to always put something in her mouth.
Do you know someone suffering from Pica? How do they combat the urge to have something in their mouth?
[Video from ABC News]