I Think I Have Pica, I Crave Sand

I am 18 years old, and I am pretty certain I have pica.

Recently I have been craving sand, it all started a few months ago, I would sweep the floors at work and grab a handful and let it fall through my fingers, after a while just touching the sand wasn't enough. I remembered how I used to eat little grains of sand when i was very young and crunch it in my teeth. I have never eaten the sand or dirt of the ground at work, but I recently bought some from the dollar store for an art project and lately I have been taking a few grains at a time and putting them in my mouth, I don't crave the taste of sand just the crunching of the grains in my teeth. I know I am probably destroying the enamel on my teeth but I can't help it. I usually have a few grains once or twice a day, I am afraid the cravings are going to get worse or that I will start eating all kinds of sand.  

I don't know why I crave the sand, I checked out a few websites and a lot of them said that people who crave sand could have an iron deficiency or some sort of anemia, I don't think I have any health problems.I donate blood and I know that my iron levels are usually fine when I give, so I am just basically wondering if anyone else out there has the same problem or has been checked out, talked to their doctor, nutrionist, etc. and found a reason for why they are craving sand.

I don't think this is a serious problem right now but I am worried it will get worse if I keep giving in and eating it, any tips for stopping cravings?

transatlanticism transatlanticism
18-21, F
7 Responses Feb 9, 2010

HI dia,
I actually have the same problem over the past years, I use to crave for sand rub them on my fingers and if i don't get them I will be salivating for a little while up until i forgot. This I don mostly when im in rural areas and this got so serious as I remember myself carrying a carry bag full of sand to urban. This really got so serious as i was suffering when it got finished and i cant eat any type of sand found in urban area. This stayed with me for a quite long up until i consulted my Doctor who later diagnose me as having PICA and I HAD ANAEMIA,he prescribed chewing iron tablets that i have to take for a period of 6 months and im really grateful that now I don't crave sand any longer.please i advice you visit a Doctor it will really help.

yes you have an iron deficiency and yes being a blood donor can contribute to this i too have had the craving and am a blood donor. i was refused last time because of low iron levels. you might want to try donating every other time and make sure you are eating foods rich in iron like meats, leafy greens and eggs. hang in there, it will pass. if it doesnt, see your doctor because it could be something more serious.

try some dirt/clay
its really tasty

Hey! I have the same problem. I love eating sand. I do not do it often, but it happens. I did it more often some time ago. I love to feel the sand in my mouth. And I also like to go barefoot in the sand and also take it in my hand and feel it with my fingers. I have never heard about anyone else with this weird behaviour. I have heard about pregnant women who sometimes have cravings for sand etc. But I´m not pregnant. I found this page because today was the first time for me to google this info, I will search and see it there can be more people like me out there ;-D

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Old post, but ..... is this still a problem? Did you get some help? I'm told my pica (chalk) is due to severe iron defiency anemia. I hear what you're saying about things that are crunchy, I love chalk that's been around for a while, and crunches when I bite it, yum!

Sometimes, but not always, vitamin or mineral deficiencies lead to such behavior. Medical and nutritional analysis might help determine whether such deficiencies are leading to your friend's daughter's behavior, and more directly address any such deficiencies. Psychological assessment and treatment might also identify any other reasons for eating (or mouthing) products not intended for consumption. Some people, for instance, engage in self-injurious behavior as a means of reducing emotional tension.