A CONCERNED mum has admitted that her daughter is “eating her out of house and home” because of her rare disorder.
Clara Bates, 29, was kicked out of two of her properties after her little girl Farrah began eating the carpets and walls.
Clara first noticed something wasn’t right with her daughter’s eating habits when Farrah was 10-months-old.
The Derby mum remembered: “She always had her foot in her mouth sucking on it. I was told babies do that, so not to worry.
“But then I noticed the Velcro was missing from her baby shoes. When I replaced them the same thing happened.
“I realised she must be digesting it and I was terrified.”
After seeking advice from a doctor, Clara was assured that the problem would be temporary because the tot was teething.
Sadly, Farrah’s condition worsened and she was soon chomping on clothes and her baby brother’s shoes.
Clara’s worry escalated when she found fragments of undigested carpet in Farrah’s potty.
She revealed: “I asked Farrah what she was eating and she pointed to the carpet as if to say ‘yum yum’.
“Suddenly it made sense, I had noticed holes appearing around the edges next to the door frames but had no idea why.”
Farrah, 5, was soon diagnosed with pica, a rare eating disorder that leads to cravings for inedible objects.
To protect her daughter from her bizarre eating habit, Clara decided to remove the carpet from her house.
Unfortunately, her landlord stung her with a £500 fine for altering the property and she was ordered to move out.
This became a recurring problem, as the Bates’s had to move again the following year after they were kicked out for trying to tile the floors.
Farrah’s rare condition also proves a drain on the family finances, as they have to fork out for replacement shoes, toys, clothing and bedding.
– Pica is an eating disorder that sparks long-term cravings for inedible objects
– Sufferers can have the urge to consume all matter of objects, from coins, to clothes, to cigarette butts
– The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has commented that research into the causes, assement and treatment is still in its infancy
– Boots’ WebMD reveals that limited data does show that people with learning disabilities are more likely to display pica symptoms
– Pregnant women may also experience temporary cravings to eat non-food items
Clara hopes that her daughter will be able to overcome Pica as she grows up.
She said: “It’s a serious condition that can lead to death.
“I worry so much but, unfortunately, there is no treatment as such.
“We just have to hope she grows out of it.
She added: “Having Farrah brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘eating me out of house and home’, because it’s literally causing us to have to move every time she damages a house.
“But she doesn’t understand and she can’t help the cravings she has.”