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Are weird cravings sign of possible mineral deficiency?

I have a strange question about something that happens to me quite often.  Whenever I pass a construction site, am exposed to airborne concrete dust, or smell certain kinds of damp metal, I begin having the most overpowering cravings, chewing (sometimes hard) at the insides of my cheeks, or compulsively biting the sides of my tongue.

I spent 5 years (94-99) as a strict vegetarian / vegan, and have been eating mostly Lacto/Ovo with some poultry and seafood since 1998.  I have been anemic my whole life.

Could this strong, bizarre craving have something to do with my mineral deficiency, and can anyone suggest a possible regimen that may help it?  Thank you very much...
142 Responses
Avatar universal

There is a condition called PICA where one has strong cravings for non-food items such as dirt, clay, rust, chalk, paint chips...

Some experts think it may be related to a specific mineral deficiency such as Zinc, Iron, Magnesium....

Don't know if that's what's going on with you, but you did mention you're anemic.  Perhaps mention this to your doctor.  

P.S. NEVER take iron supplements--or others without your doctor's approval (especially iron!).  

Best of luck

Mike
1 Comments
Was Iron Deficient Anemia.
Avatar universal
I've been looking for a site to explain the same cravings you are having   - I myself have been a strict veg 5yrs ago - anemic - now just eat healthy without meat/pasta accept chx/fish/shellfish - I walk in a ceramic pottery warehouse and go nuts -  I eat this natural gum 5-8 times a day called peelu dental gum - it gives me that hint taste of cement. The explaination of mineral def makes sense - I'm surprised I did not figure that out myself - since I read up on homepathic/herbs/def and advise others and not focus on healing myself - I will give the minerals a try and advise in a month.

Avatar universal
I experienced these cravings of clay, dirt, chalk and other simular things as a child.  Although I have always been aware of the strong attraction to the smell of wet clay or wet concrete after a rain, I have not experienced the strong cravings from my childhood until this last month.  The funny thing is, although I do not eat a lot of meat, I do eat meat, I am not pregnate, nor am I low in iron.  I have been taking vitamins pretty regularly but I think I'll keep a closer watch on the cravings when I take calcium.... I'm at a loss.  I can say that I have not been very hungry lately but crave ice like crazy!  How can we figure out what is causing this?
Avatar universal
I've actually been eating mud and dirt since I was about 10. Grew up that way my whole life, never could stop.

Just kidding~.

For the anemic lady, I would advocate that you ask that your copper level be checked (Plays just as big of a role w/ anemia as iron-unfortunately, it is rarely looked into) and ask your physician about the merits of adding B12, Folic Acid and B6 to your diet.

Knowing where your copper level is sitting is HUGE-more than you would ever know, as a matter of fact. If he/she would ever agree to run this test for you, remind him/her they must take into account that of the two genetic disorders that can go along with distortions to copper serum.

As for why anyone would want to eat dirt or clay, etc, I wouldn't begin to know what that would ever be about.
Avatar universal
Oh my gosh,I am so glad I found this site, I thought I was going crazy, I want to eat fresh laid asphalt, anything at a construction site, drink bleach and gasoline, and anything with a strong smell, I also want to eat my sons sidewalk chalk when we are outside,  not to mention wanting to crab ahandful of dirt and shoving it in my mouth, these cravings are overpowering Iwill salivate when we pass construction sites......
HELP
D
Avatar universal
Hi my name is Andi, I am an 18 year old female and I have a serious concerns about my latest food-related (or lack there of) cravings. For the past 2to3 months I have the strongest urges to eat clay, chalk or sand .  I’ve even gone as far as licking the vents in my house as compensation.  As far as I know I am on the healthier side, my weight is on the lighter side for my height but I am still normal. I have no idea what to do every time I go to the beach  or pass a construction site I seem to find myself salivating  at the smells. Once even (when no one was looking) pouring handfuls of sand into my mouth hoping to get rid of the craving. I don’t know what’s wrong with me I’m hoping  writhing this e-mail to u will help me. Please respond in urgency.  Thank you.
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