Thursday, July 12, 2012

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

We know that many people reach for chocolate when feeling a bit depressed.
Meet Teresa Widener, age 45. (photo above)
This woman eats 3lbs of rocks and stones each week to lift her spirits.
Apparently Teresa suffers from the disease Pica, she has eaten more than 3,000lbs of rocks in her lifetime.

At meal time, Teresa Widener (right) and her daughter Kelsey Bayne, 22, enjoy two very different comfort food.

When it's a bad day, Teresa reaches for pebbles and rocks she has stashed away in her special kitchen cupboard. 

Other Pica sufferers eat a anything from soap and sponges to lightbulbs. (yes, you read correctly)

Teresa said: 'Over the last 20 years I've eaten on average 3lbs of rocks each week. It fluctuates depending on how I feel.
'If I feel down then I eat lots more because it comforts me. If I know I have some at my house I feel better, just knowing they're there.
She said: 'I pick the ones I like the look of. I like the earthy flavour of them so sometimes I just suck the mud straight off them too.'

Even though many people take mineral supplements, the uncontrollable urges in sufferers could stem from a dietary deficiency of certain minerals.

Doctors think Mrs Widener's need for rocks could be caused by an iron deficiency. (try cooking in cast iron, just a thought)
If the rocks she collects are too big, Mrs Widener breaks them into bite-sized pieces with a rock hammer.
She said: 'I've never had any medical problems because of the rocks but I don't go to the toilet too often and my tummy hurts a little sometimes.'