Man eats sand and gravel for 25 years as doctors diagnose bizarre eating disorder

This man scoffs a plate of gravel and sand every day and say he has never been sick.

Hans Raj is addicted to the bizarre snacks and says he has been eaten them for over 25 years.

The 45-year-old's odd habit has gained him the nickname "sand man" in his village and he even travels around to collect different sands, gravels and fragments of bricks to try.

Representational picture

Mr Raj, who claims he has never suffered any health complications from his strange diet, said: "I have been eating bricks and rocks for around 25 years now."I love eating them. I don't think they have been any harmful effects on me."I started at a young age. Now it feels like all this is very normal to me. In my opinion, minerals in sand give me energy as do bits of masonry. I have suffered no problems in stomach and mouth. My teeth are absolutely fine. I can bite into the hardest stone without a problem."

Doctors in the state of Uttar Pradesh, in northern India where he lives have suggested his cravings could be down to a condition called Pica, an eating disorder which sees people develop appetites for normally non-edible objects.

Mr Ral said: "I would try and take out a loose brick or crumbly parts of someone's house. That was the only way for me to get my regular doses of rocks and other things."

His friends have spent years trying to dissuade him from eating the objects but nothing has so far convinced Raj to quit his bizarre habit.

Raj's addiction has even led him into a career that suits his taste - after becoming employed as a mason.

Raj's friend, Raja Singh, said: "I have been working with Hans Raj for almost 10 years now. Both of us are masons. He has been known to chew on the odd rock or brick fragment during construction. It is just impossible to stop him. He has become an addict."

Mr Raj says has no intentions to get medical help for the habit. He said: "I love the taste of gravel. I have sand with tea, bread and even soup. This is something that has kept me fit as I have never fallen sick but people who eat normal food fall sick often."

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