Craving or Eating Non Food Items

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Medically Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

GP / Family doctor

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

From our team of 50+ doctors

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People with these symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • I want to eat the soil

  • I want to eat my hair

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

It refers to compulsive and persistent craving and eating of substances that aren't food or have no nutritional value or benefit.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Craving or eating non food items

Possible causes

  • Anemia

    Anemia is a disorder in which the body's tissues don't get enough oxygen due to insufficient healthy red blood cells. There are several types anemia with various causes, the most common being iron-deficiency anemia which is a result of insufficient iron. Iron is required to produce haemoglobin, a substance in the red blood cells which help carry oxygen.

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Have you had cravings to eat non-food items such as soil, paper or clay?

  • Do you have whitish, curd-like substances on the tongue or surfaces of the mouth?

  • Do you have dry mouth?

  • Do you have headaches or does your head feel heavy?

  • Do you have slurred speech?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Leung AKC, Hon KL. Pica: A Common Condition that is Commonly Missed - An Update Review. Curr Pediatr Rev. 2019;15(3):164-169. doi: 10.2174/1573396315666190313163530. PMID: 30868957.

    http://www.eurekaselect.com/article/97302

Medically Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

GP / Family doctor

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

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