"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Pica, historical significance and more

Eat dirt, also often called geophagy, is once you feel the urge to eat dirt. It sometimes occurs in children, and it has also been linked to pregnancy, some mental illnesses, and nutrient deficiencies.

Geophagy has been around for hundreds of years. In the 18th century, Roman doctors reported the results of eating dirt.

Scientists have studied the act of dirt eating in contemporary urban South Africa. Some experts imagine that is on account of hunger and poverty. In most cases, people eat soil to alleviate stomach discomfort or dietary deficiencies.

There are many the reason why people eat dirt.

Pica. With pica, you are feeling strong urges to eat things that usually are not food. You could also be craving dirt, clay, chalk, and/or starch. You'll probably eat large amounts of this stuff too.

Pregnancy cravings. Pregnant women often eat soil in parts of Africa. They crave flavor and texture. Red clay is frequently chosen because the substrate. There are medical, cultural and non secular reasons for this practice. Some imagine that eating soil is nice for the newborn, but it could actually have harmful effects if the soil accommodates pollutants or parasites.

Nutrient deficiency. Dirt eating is more common where there may be hunger and poverty. If you have got iron deficiency anemia, you might wish to eat dirt. Although soil accommodates minerals and nutrients, it just isn't a protected option to transport them into your body.

Cultural beliefs. Certain cultures imagine that eating dirt might be good for you. These beliefs have their roots in precedent days when soil was used to alleviate digestive problems. In some cultures, people eat soil to alleviate ulcers, diarrhea, or menstrual cramps.

You could have pica as a baby or develop the disease later in life. It can come and go. Children and pregnant women are almost certainly to experience episodes of this.

Dirt and chalk are the substances mostly consumed by individuals with pica. Some people imagine that pregnant women do that because they usually are not getting all of the nutrients their bodies need. But the cause just isn't known.

“Ground pica” might be harmful. Dangers include lead poisoning and parasites.

Although geophagy has been practiced for hundreds of years, that doesn't mean it's protected. There are many the reason why it is best to avoid eating dirt. These dangers include, amongst others:

Mineral deficiency. Geophagy is related to iron deficiency. Eating clay also prevents your body from absorbing iron. Clay can even prevent your body from absorbing potassium and zinc. This can result in a zinc deficiency.

Toxic soil. Eating dirt might be dangerous due to what it accommodates. Soil may contain heavy metals, human waste, parasites and other harmful substances.

Ascariasis. This is a standard condition amongst children who eat soil in Nigeria. This happens once they turn into infected with a parasite called roundworms. These worms infect roughly 25% of the world's population. In adults they will go unnoticed. However, if a baby becomes infected, it could actually cause intestinal obstruction and complications.

Some ways you may manage dirty food cravings include:

  • Ask a friend to carry you accountable
  • Tell your doctor
  • Make sure you get enough vitamins, iron and other minerals
  • Find chewing alternatives like gum or mints

Talk to your doctor or mental health skilled if you have got the urge to eat or have eaten dirt. If you are feeling like you may't control these urges, a psychotherapist might help. They will aid you find the cause.

Your doctor can aid you work out what nutrients you might be missing out of your weight-reduction plan. Sometimes proper nutrition can aid you overcome the strong urge to eat dirt.