I’ve always loved eating ice. If someone gave me an entire bucket of ice chips, I’d eat them. I also love drinking slurpees from 7-eleven, but drinking slurpees doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as munching on some ice does.
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine on MSN. I mentioned to him that I was eating ice, and he told me that eating ice was a sign of sexual frustration! Until then, I didn’t even think about why I enjoyed eating ice so much…..so I looked it up.
Until I looked it up, I have never heard of Pica. Pica is defined as an appetite for substances not for food, such as clay or paper products. Pagophagia is pica specifically for ice. Upon reading further, I found that studies show that pagophagia is a specific indicator for iron deficiency anemia. Isn’t that something?
I continued to read. A study was done with 55 patients who had iron-deficiency anemia. Out of those 55 patients, 32 of them had pica (58%). Out of those 32 patients, 28 of them has pagophagia (88%). I found all of this info on a medical weblog written by Kevin M.D. The specific site that I found this info is: http://kevinmd.com/blog/2004/11/i-eat-lot-of-ice.html
Isn’t that odd? I wonder what it is about anemia and eating ice?
I bet you’re wondering why pregnant women often eat ice too, right? Well I found an answer for that as well. When pregnant women are in their third trimester, their iron is at its most depleted. So, iron at its most depleted = iron deficiency = eating ice.
On a bit of a side note, I think it’s quite hilarious when I tell people I have chronic anemia. When I tell them this, I also explain that my doctors can’t seem to figure out why my anemia is so stubborn and treatment resistent. They then turn around and say things to me like:
“Well, if you just ate more spinach your iron would go up.”
“Why don’t you take some iron pills?”
“Eat more red meat!” and so on and so on.
Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t LIKE being anemic. If I could eat a leaf of romaine lettuce and get all better I’d do it! And people who tell me to take some iron pills, sheesh! I just said “TREATMENT RESISTENT!” Hahaha ok, I’m done.
So if you’re an ice eating fiend like me and you’re also anemic, now you know why! And conversely, if you’re an ice eating fiend and you don’t know why, perhaps it’s time to see your doctor and check for anemia.
Just thought I’d share this interesting little tidbit.