He has been diagnosed as having pica, which is an eating disorder that effects 10-30% of children ages 1-6. Pica is characterized by persistent and compulsive eating of non-food items, lasting one month or longer (http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/pica.html#).
It's a little unnerving to learn what pica entails. The simple answer would be if it's related to nutritional deficiencies. I'd even consider him being a little OCD a simple answer compared to the other conditions related to pica: developmental problems such as mental retardation, autism, developmental disabilities, or brain abnormalities. Schizophrenia can also be related to pica. That's not very comforting. While I'd like to think that my baby is a normal, curious, adventurous boy that just happens to have a bad habit of eating fuzz like material, I can't help but worry that other issues may come out of this as well. Sometimes Dr. Google is not a very friendly and comforting resource.
He had a blood draw the day of his appointment to check for nutritional deficiencies. The results showed his iron levels to be normal, but something else related to iron and how it gets processed (I can't remember what it's called) was a little low, so we will be starting a multivitamin with iron. His sodium/electrolytes were a little low as well, but apparently if the blood sits a little while in the lab before getting processed, it can effect the numbers, so Dr. S wasn't worried about that. However, the other point of concern was that his glucose was a little high, coming back at 117. Anything above 100 is considered abnormal. Sooooo, in addition to addressing his pica issues, we also need to rule out that Ayden could have diabetes.
Dr. S said that it's pretty rare for diabetes to show up in one so young, but it was important for us to at least do a follow up. Yesterday was Ayden and Rylee's 2 year check up, so he had his second blood draw and now we are just waiting for the results.
Let me just say, it was a horrible doctor's appointment for poor Ayden! We were there for a grand total of 2 hours, 10 minutes. He does NOT sit still or leave ANYTHING alone EVER!!! He could have cared less about the books and toys that were in the room we were in, but wanted more than anything to play with the computer and all the doctor's instruments. He had to get two shots, which he did not like (Rylee took them like a champ!), and then we had to wait in the waiting room for another 15 minutes waiting to be called back to the lab, which was not fun with two toddlers ready to get out of there. Then he had to have his blood drawn. He cried and cried and cried, bless his little heart! By the time we got home, he was over it and ready to play though, thank goodness.
In addition to the blood work at that first appointment a few weeks ago, we also got a referral to a developmental pediatrician. They contacted me the very next day to get us registered and sent out paperwork. I just need to finish filling it out and send it back. Then we'll be onto the next step.
Overall, I know Ayden is a healthy, rambunctious boy. We do have to get a handle on this diaper eating issue though, before it does turn into a serious issue. With the rate at which he eats fuzzy material, I'm sure it won't take long before he has some internal blockage. I'd also like to think we can get a handle on the situation before it becomes a mental health issue as well.
|His smile melts me|