It is not an uncommon sight to find a little kid eating sand on a beach or in a park. But this habit is not just isolated to Kids or Sand. You might have known kids or even adults who feed on chalk piece, charcoal, ash, salt, pickles, sugar, ice cubes etc..
So what is the real reason behind these strange habits? Is it in any way related to physical or mental problems? What are the ways to stop these habits?
There are two primary reasons behind this problem. One is nutrition deficiency and the other reason could be psychological.
Our body has an inbuilt mechanism. It will involuntarily take what it really needs. For example, if you are dehydrated, it lets us know through the feeling of thirst, similarly, there will be a reason behind why our body seeks us to eat sand or chalk piece or whatever little things.
Kids who seek out chalk piece, sand or clay are most likely deprived of certain nutrients which our body needs.
When our body creates an urge to eat chalk, sand, stones it is most likely deprived of calcium. Similarly when kids scratch the wall surface and try to eat the paint from it, then it is most likely due to iron deficiency.
There is a difference between pregnant women wanting to eat ashes and a normal adult wanting to do the same. When a normal person does it, it is likely due to do micro-minerals deficiency.
Kids and adults wanting to eat sand might most probably due to Zinc deficiency.
Some people keep munching on too salty and spicy pickles like it’s a chocolate. These people could have the sodium deficiency.
People who like to eat sweet and sugar a lot might have nutrients deficiency.
Adults who are psychologically affected have the habit of eating more. People who feel lonely particularly old aged ones want to keep munching on some food stuff all the time.
To identify the real reason behind these problems, Doctors would carry out different tests including a blood test to reveal the possible reason.
If it’s due to nutrition deficiency, then it’s necessary to change the food habits and include nutrient-rich foods into daily diets. This will ensure there is a needed supply of calcium and iron to the body. If needed Doctors would prescribe for multivitamin and multi-nutrients tablets.
Those who are psychologically affected would need proper care and love from people close to them. They should not be left alone. If the proper love and care for the person don’t help, then they need to be taken to a professional psychiatrist or psychologist for proper treatment.