Toddler Suffering From Rare Disease Pica Will Eat Anything – Even Glass [VIDEO]
If you think your toddler eats everything in sight, you haven't met Natalie Hayhurst.
The three-year-old is normal in many ways, but her appetite for non-edible items -- a rare medical condition called Pica -- is a real cause of concern.
Her mother Colleen first noticed the problem when Natalie took two bites out of a set of vinyl blinds. And earlier this year, the little girl was rushed into surgery after eating a light bulb.
"She'll eat rocks, dirt," Colleen said. "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... You can't take your eye off of her, 'cause if you do she knows it, and she'll try to eat something when she knows you're not looking."
Pica -- the Latin word for magpie, a bird that eats anything -- can be triggered by a lack of certain nutrients like iron or zinc, but since Natalie also has a healthy appetite for regular food, doctors believe her case is psychological. A therapist is currently working with her to curb her non-food cravings.
In the meantime, her mom is reaching out to other families affected by Pica. "There are nights I have cried myself to sleep, because you feel helpless," Colleen said. "My kids are my world… and I care about helping other people who are in the same boat as me."