First off I would like to say that it feels great finding others who have this condition. Thanks for sharing.
I have had poly-pica for as long as I can remember. As a child I remember eating ashes from the fireplace, coal, dirt, burnt match heads, paper, ice (I didn't even know this was counted as pica until yesterday!), brick, chalk, concrete, sand...... there would be more if I thought about it. I always felt really guilty about it and kept it a secret. I found out when I was about 17 that it had a name and that others did it too, but I didn't really talk to anyone about it.
Over the years my pica narrowed down somewhat. I mainly crave dirt, ice and charcoal now. If I can't get dirt or charcoal, I'll substitute brick or coal or concrete at a pinch, but these aren't my main cravings.
I love the smell, texture and taste of these things - I don't know why. I used to smoke, and I would compare the cravings as as intense if not stronger as cravings for cigarettes. I've been compelled to go out in the middle of the night to hunt down something suitable to eat.
As strong as these cravings can get, I would often only get them every month or 2. Then I would get a good 'fix', and be ok for a while. But now I am pregnant, and I'm craving almost everyday. I don't let myself eat dirt, because it is so unsafe. Instead my husband has bought me a big bag of charcoal and I've been eating that.
I met with a dietitian yesterday and talked to her about it. This was the first time I'd talked to a health professional about it. She was intrigued but very supportive. She also told me that she couldn't see any major risks to my eating charcoal or brick. I was so relieved!
Anyway, that's my story - I hope it helps someone. Just knowing there are others out there like me, helps me a great deal.