Do you crave ice?
Posted by kathryn in Uncategorized
The next question in Q & A Thursday is from a reader who asks:
Someone once told me that people who are anaemic crave ice. I can’t find any information about this, but it worries me because my 12 year old daughter LOVES ice.
Pica is the name of the health issue where people crave and chew substances which are either not normally classified as food, or are not usually eaten in large quantitites. As well as ice, pica cravings can include clay, cornstarch, paper, soil, chalk, soap and coal.
What causes pica?
Our knowledge of what causes pica is a bit sketchy. There is some evidence it may be caused by nutritional deficiencies and ice pica has been linked to low iron. However none of this evidence is conclusive.
What to do if you think you have pica?
For pica to be diagnosed the cravings must have lasted more than one month. It is not a short-term, one-off condition.
Plus if you simply like chewing ice, that is not pica. Pica is a craving. Which is a more intense desire or need, than a simple enjoyment.
If you think you may have pica it’s really important to see your GP. To get a proper diagnosis and work out why this is happening.
What is Q & A Thursday?
This post is part of Q & A Thursday – a monthly burst of blogging, where you get to dictate the subject matter. Q & A Thursday is all about simple, practical answers to food and diet dilemmas sent in by readers.