A mum has rare condition which has seen her spend £8,000 — on eating a tub of Johnson’s Baby Talcum Powder A DAY.
Lisa Anderson, 44, started eating the powder 15 years ago when she felt the urge after using it on her young son following a bath.
Unemployed Lisa, who suffers from anxiety and depression, spends at least £10-a-week on her craving.
The mum-of five from Paignton, Devon, kept her habit secret for a decade before confiding in her ex-partner – and has now plucked up the courage to get professional help.
She was recently told by doctors she may have symptoms of PICA syndrome – an eating disorder characterised by a compulsion to eat non-food items.
She’s set to get professional help in later this month, and is speaking out to urge others to speak out too.
Speaking to Real Fix, a podcast about extraordinary true stories, she said: “My youngest one is 15 now, it was while I was pregnant with him. It was like the smell of it. I used to crave the smell of it.
“I actually craved, which is really strange, the smell of hoover bags.
“You know when you use shake and vac, it was like that. But I’ve never eaten that. That went.
“I used to eat mints a lot. I used to crave them too. It has to be trebor , it can’t be spearmint or anything like that.
“When he was born and I would use the talcum powder I would lick it off my hands.
“That went on for quite a while. I wasn’t like all the time I’d do it. Sometimes I wouldn’t even realise I was doing it.
“And then it was probably only about four years ago was when I started eating it as in putting it on my hand, eating it. I didn’t think much of it. I never told anybody.
“Every now and again when I was around talcum powder I would eat it.
“I put it on my hand then eat it.
“I’ve started talking to someone who does the same thing and she said she just tips it in her mouth.
“I’ve seen it on YouTube and I’ve started doing that now. It makes less mess.
“It’s like a satisfaction of eating it and the taste. It’s hard to explain.
“When you have a really, really bad craving and your mouth is watering for that craving and then the taste of it, it’s just a lovely taste.
“It’s like a mild soapy taste. I even got my partner to try it and she said it tastes soapy. She didn’t like it.”
Lisa estimates she’s spent nearly £8,000 on her craving and runs off to the bathroom at least 40 TIMES a day to gorge on the white powder she eats off the back of her hand.
Lisa told the Real Fix podcast: “I get them on Amazon. A pack of six of them and that’s £7. And then when I go shopping at Morrison’s I get two big bottles for £1.50. So it’s over £10 a week.
“I kept it secret because I thought people would think I was stupid or tell me to stop doing it. But I couldn’t stop doing it because I was craving it.
“I tried to stop when I was in a bad relationship. She was controlling and didn’t let me. But when she would go out, I would buy a small one and do it when she wasn’t there.
“If I can’t do it, I crave it, I miss it.
Lisa kept her condition secret for ten years until her ex-partner stormed into the bathroom having grown suspicious of her regular visits.
It was not until Lisa visited her GP last year that she has been given a formal suspected diagnosis.
Although not formally diagnosed, doctors have told Lisa her cravings could be a result of a possible iron deficiency, OCD and PICA syndrome.
Lisa was referred by her GP for counselling at the end of last year, which she had been attending before the Coronavirus lockdown.
She spoke about the ordeal to the Real Fix podcast, which features real life people telling their own extraordinary stories in their own words.
Talcum powder is a powder made from a mineral called talc, a clay mineral made up of silicon, magnesium and oxygen.
It is thought the mineral is poisonous to the body if either inhaled or consumed.
People who have inhaled or ingested talcum powder are advised to seek help immediately.
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