Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Diaper Eating Update

I posted a couple weeks ago about taking Ayden to the doctor to address his current diaper eating habits.  Before that it was hair, carpet, fuzz from stuffed animals...  This has been an on going issue for about 11 months now.  I thought I should give you an update.

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


  1. Many hugs, A. I know all of this is heavy on your heart. Try not to get ahead of yourself with what this could mean.

    Message me if you want to talk. I don't have experience with pica directly, but I do know my way around doctors. Xoxo

    1. I am staying relatively neutral for the most part. It's just a little unnerving to first - think of my son having an eating disorder, and second - knowing the extremes of what that could mean. Ultimately, I don't think he is an extreme case at this point. I just want to put a stop to it before it DOES become a major problem! Thank you so much for always being a source of support Stacie. It really means a lot.

  2. Prayers are with you and our sweet little Ayden!! His smile melts or at the least charms the world!! I've seen it first hand!!! Such a heavy burden to carry around but I like your attitude of getting a handle on it and no matter what, you and his Daddy will help him to be the best little guy he can by as he is already!!!!!!! May it just be a simple fix of a busy, curious little boy or an easy tweek in his nutrition!! Sending lots of love and hugs!!! YEAH for Rylee being a champ!!! There's always one that pulls through to make the worries less for Mom and Dad!!!!

  3. Oh Amber this must be so stressful on you. But you are absolutely doing the best thing for Ayden by getting out in front of this quickly, so that he is going to get whatever help he needs. I'm holding out hope that none of the worst case scenarios is true (let's face it, Dr. Google is great at freaking us out for no real reason sometimes) and this ends up being just a weird little phase that he grows out of in time.

  4. Oh Ayden! Why must you worry your mother? I'm amazed that pica is so prevalent in kids, but that's probably a good statistic to keep in your mind as there is no way that 10-30% of kids that have pica also have one of those other major issues you mentioned. Fingers crossed this is a silly phase that you guys can laugh about (and tell future girlfriends about!) in years to come.

  5. It is very important to make sure that your nutrients is right every day. Hopefully, the deficiency of the iron related element gets addressed so that he can process iron more properly. It is amazing what a certain deficiency in a nutrient could do to the system which is why this is important to take care of

    Margaretta Cloutier @ Aspire Wellness Center

  6. Another blogger I follow writes a column for Mom.me. She just posted this article.


    Thought you might be interested. Look her up on Facebook as well as it appears there are a few kids with this issue and other moms are commenting.