my daughter

Rachelle - posted on 02/11/2015 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Since my 17th old was a baby she has been consumed with her feces. This is killing me and I know it has to be her as well. I can't get any answers on this. She can't have anyone stay the night because of the smell in her room. Please tell me someone has heard of this, where it comes from and how to make it go away. She has been in counseling on and off for years but her dad won't stick with. Most the time I don't have a car. Please help me with some relief.

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Raye - posted on 02/12/2015

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The condition known as Pica is characterized by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritious, such as paper, clay, metal, chalk, soil, sand or glass (I used to eat glass). Coprophagia (the eating of feces) is a subform of Pica. Family issues, parental neglect, pregnancy, poverty, and a disorganized family structure have been found to cause or prolong this condition. Pica has been known to occur in persons with mental disorders such as obsessive compulsive or addictive disorders, although it can happen as an impulse in otherwise healthy individuals. Also many animals will eat their own or other animals feces because of undigested vitamin/mineral content. Pica is more common in children than adults, so she could "grow out of it" as she matures realizes it is not acceptable behavior.

If part of the condition is driven by an oral fixation, then having something else to do with the mouth and hands could help. Try having popcorn or gum or other low-calorie snack available and tell her whenever she gets the urge to eat her feces to choose one of the snacks instead. Some say that foods such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts or pineapple will make the poop less tasty and could deter one from eating it.

As far as real treatment, she should be tested for a mineral deficiency which would be treatable through dietary changes. If that's not the cause, then therapy or medication (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have had limited success in some patients) may be necessary. If your doctor can't help you, keep trying to find one that knows something about these behaviors.

Rachelle - posted on 02/11/2015

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Yes and they say the same thing. Therected answer is I don't know. She is very intelligent and some say some children with Autism do this. When she was little even now she can't stand loud noises. If she is in fact autistic it is so faint you wouldn't notice. She started fixing broken things at 6yrs.old. the doctors for the most part look grossed out and have no answer. We are drowning over here. She knows it's not normal but continues to do it. It's like she is driven to do so.

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