Willing to eat earth can be a psychological, psychiatric, physical problem or a common behavior until the two years when the child still have difficulties in differentiating what one can eat. The urge to eat earth (geophagia) or strange things such as soap, cleaning products or paint is called itchy or itchy, and may be present during pregnancy and often remaining even after it has finished.
Some causes for the urge to eat earth and strange things:
- psychological problems such as stress, anxiety, separation of parents, problems in family interaction, child abuse;
- problems related to hunger, malnutrition or lack of nutrients such as iron, calcium and zinc;
- neurological problems, such as in children with autism and people with intellectual development delays;
- sociocultural customs;
- psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia.
Eating soil and other substances that are not food can cause disorders in the stomach, liver, kidneys, intestines, and infections and worms infestations. Although people often find it difficult to talk about their desires with their doctor, it is important that this is done. The general practitioner will be able to guide the treatment and necessary referrals.