Why Am I Craving Dirt? [And What to Do? Explained!]

People crave all sorts of food all the time, and we can hear all kinds of stuff they crave, even the weirdest food. However, that’s an entirely different thing when you crave dirt. Another surprising thing is that many people do crave and eat such. Thus, you may ask:

Why am I craving dirt? If you’re craving dirt, you probably have pica which is an eating disorder when you crave something that isn’t food. Such a disorder can be a symptom of an underlying illness, but it responds to nutrient deficiencies in most cases. So your best bet would be to seek help in cases like this one.

Although it happens to some people, a dirt craving remains a rare instance. Further, a craving puts you at risk if you give in without understanding such. In short, you need to understand what causes you to crave dirt. This way, you can deal with it without compromising your health.

In this article, we’ll cover all the things you need to know about dirt cravings and what to do about them. This way, you can prevent further complications, and you won’t go through the risk of eating dirt.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Craving DirtPin

Why do I crave dirt?

What does it mean when you are craving dirt? If you’re craving dirt, you probably have an underlying illness or health condition. If such is the case, you should not take it lightly and pay attention to the possible things you can do about it.

Let’s have a look!


One of the causes of dirt cravings is pica, an eating disorder in which people crave items that are not food. Thus, if you have a sudden craving for dirt, you may have this disorder.

In some cases, pica also makes people crave other items aside from dirt. For instance, you can also crave pebbles, ash, cloth, clay, paper, hair, and chalk.

This disorder can happen to anyone, although it’s rarely diagnosed with children because kids eat all sorts of stuff.

Another thing to note is that pica can come as a symptom of other complications like trichotillomania or schizophrenia, although you should note that pica comes as a separate disorder.

Lastly, there’s no definite and proven cause of pica, although experts say it develops as a response to nutrient deficiency, and that’s what we’ll tackle next.

Nutrient Deficiency

In some cases, pica cravings that cause dirt usually happen due to a lack of minerals in the body. Since dirt contains different minerals, deficiency may cause your body to seek dirt through cravings.

For this reason, you need to look at your current diet and check if any of the food you consume gives you enough minerals and other nutrients.

If not, you should take some supplements to compensate for it or have a nutritious and healthy diet to prevent or stop further dirt cravings.


Geophagia is a cultural practice where people eat dirt. Now, while it’s not an actual craving, it may cause you to crave dirt if you have been eating much or you’ve seen someone eating such.

Geophagia practices this act because people believe that eating dirt can offer several health benefits. For instance, they say dirt can:

  • Help solve any digestive issues
  • Develop a softer skin and change the skin tone
  • Offer protection during pregnancy
  • Absorb toxin to prevent or treat an illness

If such is the case, you would still do best if you eat food alternatives, minerals, and vitamin supplements. This way, you avoid the risks that come from eating dirt.


It is possible to crave dirt if you suffer from anemia, but eating dirt won’t improve your symptoms. Instead, consult your doctor and check your blood to determine which nutritional supplements you need.

Some research suggests that geophagy may interfere with your ability to digest nutrients since clay in your stomach may bind to iron, zinc, and other nutrients. To put it another way, eating dirt may increase your risk of anemia.

For this reason, you should avoid eating dirt and replace it with other food alternatives to satisfy your craving.

Why am I craving dirt all of a sudden?

If you’re craving dirt all of a sudden, you probably have pica due to nutrient deficiency. Pica is an eating disorder where you may crave dirt due to a nutrient deficiency or an underlying illness.

In this case, the best thing to do is find other alternatives to dirt. You should also take some mineral supplements to ensure you get the right minerals for your body. It should be enough to help you stop further dirt cravings from happening.

If you still crave dirt after doing all these measures, you should consult an expert or diagnose yourself if you suffer any sickness.

Why am I craving dirt all the time?

If you’re craving dirt all the time, you probably don’t get the minerals your body needs. In most cases, you need iron and other minerals found in dirt.

While most cravings will stop once you satisfy them, you can’t do the same with dirt since eating such can cause more risks.

The best thing to do is find other food alternatives to dirt. Further, you may want to consider eating something nutritious and rich in minerals to prevent further dirt cravings.

How to stop craving dirt?

If you want to stop craving dirt, the best thing is to consume food with similar color and texture to dirt. For example, you can chew on ground cookies, cereal, or crackers. Also, you need to get food rich in minerals to stop craving dirt.

Another thing you can do is to tell someone you trust so they can help you avoid eating dirt, especially if you’re struggling with your cravings. Lastly, you can consult an expert’s help if you think you need such.

What to eat when craving dirt?

You can eat ground cookies as an alternative to dirt if you want to stop craving such. For instance, you can ground some oreo cookies or other cookies with you and eat such.

Continue your cookie replacement until you can do so. At the same time, you may want to take some vitamins and mineral supplements along with your food alternative.

This way, you can get the right amount of nutrients that can stop you from craving dirt in the future.

Craving dirt during pregnancy

Why are you craving dirt when pregnant? If you’re craving dirt during pregnancy, you probably need the iron or the minerals you can find in the dirt.

Some instances happen when pregnant women crave dirt, and it’s usually the kind of pica craving pregnancy includes.

Some experts say that these cravings come from iron deficiency, while others say it’s a response of the immune system to the changes during pregnancy. 

Whatever the reason, your best bet would be to take mineral supplements to ensure you get the right amount you need.

Further, you need to make sure you eat food alternatives and not dirt as it can expose you to several health complications and risks.

Craving dirt before period

Why are you craving dirt before your period? If you’re craving dirt before period, you can crave it because you need more iron.

Iron deficiency is common in people with a heavy period, so those dirt cravings may be a side effect. 

In this case, you need to get some iron supplements to cope with your coming period. It will also help you prevent dirt cravings in the future.

Craving dirt on period

Why are you craving dirt when you are on your period? If you’re craving dirt during a period, you can crave it because you need more iron. Dirt cravings may be a side effect of iron deficiency in women with heavy periods. 

If this is the case, you need iron supplements to get through your period. It will also prevent you from craving dirt in the future.

Craving dirt at night

Why are you craving dirt at night? If you’re craving dirt at night, you are probably anemic and need more iron and other minerals in your body. 

If such is the case, you will do well to eat other food alternatives like crumbled cookies together with mineral supplements.

This way, you can satisfy your cravings with food that contains a similar texture while getting the nutrients from your supplements.

Craving dirt when sick

Why are you craving dirt when you are sick? If you’re craving dirt when sick, you probably need more minerals to cope up with your illness.

In most cases, you may have pica cravings, an eating disorder in which they crave and eat non-food items, often consume dirt. Some anemic people also eat dirt, so you may have anemia that causes you to crave such.

The best thing to do is take some minerals or food rich in minerals and eat other similar food alternatives like ground cookies.

Can you have a dirt addiction?

It’s not likely for anyone to have a dirt addiction, but it can still happen if you don’t do something with your dirt craving.

The best thing to do is eat some ground cookies since it has a similar texture and color to dirt. But, at the same time, you need to get some supplements to answer your nutrient deficiencies if ever you have such.

Is craving dirt a sign of pregnancy?

During pregnancy, many pregnant women crave dirt or clay. Unfortunately, there hasn’t yet been an apparent reason why this occurs. 

Pica cravings may be caused by iron deficiency. According to another theory, these cravings respond to the changes in the immune system during pregnancy.

In short, dirt cravings can happen during pregnancy, but it’s not a clear sign of pregnancy since it can happen to anyone.

Can you eat too much dirt?

Yes, you can eat too much dirt, and it’s not a great thing to happen. You can get parasites, bacteria, and toxic heavy metals from eating dirt. 

Further, a lot of potassium in dirt can cause high blood potassium, increasing your risk of cardiac arrhythmias and cardiac arrests.

In short, you should not eat dirt at all costs since it can lead to several health hazards and complications.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about dirt and its cravings.

What does craving dirt mean emotionally?

Dirt cravings are not always associated with emotional needs. However, it is essential to keep this possibility in mind. Emotions can still trigger dirt cravings.

Understanding such a need can be viewed as a form of self-medication. For instance, you might crave dirt since you see other people near you eating such. In addition, satisfying this need can boost your mood or, in other words, make you happy.

What deficiency causes you to crave dirt?

Most dirt cravings come from mineral deficiencies. In most cases, you probably have anemia or iron deficiency anemia.

If you suffer from iron deficiency anemia, you might benefit from eating dirt. However, despite soil containing minerals and nutrients, getting them into your body is not safe.

Craving dirt and ice

Pica cravings cause people to eat non-food items, including dirt and ice. Although these two are different, they are both associated with anemia, which means you probably lack iron if you crave both. 

In medicine, “pica” refers to craving and chewing substances that have no nutritional value, such as ice, clay, soil, or paper. Ice craving and chewing (pagophagia) are often associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia, although the cause is not clear.

How to satisfy dirt cravings?

The best way to satisfy dirt cravings is to munch on food alternatives with similar textures such as crushed or ground cookies. At the same time, you may need to take some mineral supplements since your craving may come from a mineral deficiency. 

If you are having trouble avoiding dirt on your own, you might be able to get support from someone you trust if you tell them about your cravings. Eat or chew foods that are similar in color and texture. For example, a finely ground cookie, cereal, or cracker may help you satisfy your cravings.

Craving dirt vitamin deficiency

A lack of minerals in the body can cause pica cravings that cause dirt cravings. Mineral deficiencies may cause your body to crave dirt if it lacks certain minerals.

As a result, you need to examine your current diet and see if any of the food you consume provides you with enough minerals and nutrients.

It is recommended that you take some supplements to compensate for it or maintain a nutritious and healthy diet to prevent further dirt cravings.


In a nutshell, dirt cravings can come from several health-related conditions and causes. Having a taste for dirt means you may have pica, an eating disorder that occurs when you crave something other than food. 

A disorder like this can be a symptom of a more severe condition, but nutrient deficiencies in most cases cause it. Your best course of action, if you are in such a situation, would be to seek help.

Even though some people experience a dirt craving, it remains rare. In addition, it’s a craving that puts you at risk if you give in without understanding what it is. 

Simply put, you must understand the reasons behind your cravings. By doing so, you will overcome them without harming your health.



Image credits – Canva

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