Constantly Chomping on ICE?

       Are you an avid ice eater? Do you crave ice almost 50% of the day? Well, you're not alone because I can most definitely relate to you.  My ice cravings also known as Pagophagia,  have no set time or day -- when I'm doing homework, laying down getting ready for bed, chatting with my friends, playing with my dogs.....I can never escape it. I am CONSTANTLY craving ice! I have been told numerous times that this habit is terrible for my teeth but I guess I won't learn until I have to suffer the consequences 40 years from now.


After doing some research the main cause I can find for my ice addiction is iron deficiency anemia which is the main type of anemia. Does that mean that I may possibly be anemic? Who knows; but apparently Iron deficiency anemia is an easy illness to overlook.  According to studies, ice cravings are typically found in women more often than men. Almost 50 % of all pregnant women and about 20 % of other women are iron deficient. Yet, only approximately 3 % of all men are iron deficient. 

        Women naturally have less iron than men and on top of that we lose more iron due to menstruation.  It would be nice if chewing ice had some type of benefit since I do it so often, but it doesn't. Ice chomping has no nutritional value and will only leave you with a painful visit at the dentist's office.

        Ice craving is typically a sign that you have low iron. It is not something to neglect because iron is very important for us. Iron a necessary component of blood and enables our blood to carry oxygen effectively so that our bodies have a sufficient supply to complete their daily bodily functions. This then reciprocates because oxygen is necessary for every single cell in our bodies to function individually and appropriately.

 A few causes of iron deficiency:

  •        Poor dietary intake (specifically a diet containing an unhealthy balance of nutrients)
  •          Crash diets
  •          Limited access to fresh foods in a variety of types
  •          Finicky eaters
  •          Excessive tea and coffee drinking
  •          Excessive blood loss
  •          Excessive exercise
  •          Excessive Intake of specific medications (aspirin, vitamin E, zinc)

So, I'm sure you can imagine how shaken up I was from this study because it affects me directly. The bottom line is that ice craving is a huge sign of low iron and once your cravings begin you should see your doctor immediately. Don't hold out like I've been doing! Once the iron deficiency is cleared up, the cravings for ice typically go away.




Being a male,I can tell the reason us craving for ice,which I may ultimately also call it an addition,similar to the effect that caffine does to our senses in coka-cola.Popsicle(TM) is an example of a good ice brand,and yeah it's usually in stock whenever you pry into my refrigerator.Sometimes I simply take ice as a substitution of water,since I live in an apartment and at times freshwater supplies run out.At the same occasion,I also feel that the ice contains far less water(though theorectically it WERE the same thing)than the liquid,so on many instances,I will take three ices in a row to quench my thirst and chase for the excitement of the forehead-freezing experience.

I myself always chew ice, and use a lot of it in my drinks. However I always have one problem when I am chewing ice. For some reason I always constantly have to go to the bathroom either during or after. Im not just saying once either, but usually multiple time. I could drink three water bottles, and not have to go to the bathroom, but i cannot say the same after chewing on a few cubes of ice. If you want to continue blogging on your habit, I think that this would be an ideal topic to focus on.

It's very interesting that you blog about this. One of my friends also really loves chewing ice! She is at the point to where she will go to Redifer just to fill up on some ice. Last school year during Spring Break she found out about it being a sign of iron deficiency, and went to the doctor and started taking iron supplements. It was interesting to see how her need to chew ice slowly started to go away.
And although the craving to chew ice is an indicator that one might have an iron deficiency, are there any negatives to always chewing it? (or any benefits for that matter)

This is crazy! To be honest I never thought there was a correlation or any type of relationship between the two. I figured I was always crunching on a cup of ice because the cold feeling in my mouth or the the texture. I ironically have anemia and have an obsession with chewing ice. I feel like there's no actual direct correlation between the two. If anemic, why would you chew ice? I feel like there would be some reason for why iron deficient individuals are more likely to chew ice.I find it fascinating though how once the anemia is eradicated from one's body, you're more likely to stop your habit. Is there a statistic for that?

One of my best friends is addicted to eating ice and she did not do anything about it until after she found out she couldn't give blood because her iron was too low. She actually had to go home this past weekend because of it and got a doctors note to get air conditioning put in her dorm. There could be other things wrong too being addicted to ice but I guess some good things can come out of it?

Hey Ejiro!

I'm glad someone talked about negative effects of ice! I can totally relate, because I used to eat ice instead of drinking water. Growing up in an Asian family, my mom has always forbade me to eat anything cold or frozen during my menstruation cycle. Not only is it bad for you in the long run, but for some people it also causes cramps! Ice causes uterine contractions which can be read more about it here . It's listed on number three.
Ice also damages the digestive system since is slows down the digestive path when you eat. The body also has to convert the coldness into heat, which in order to do so, takes energy away from your body. You can read more about it here

When I saw the title of your post, I knew this would be one that I was definitely commenting on! I have craved chewing ice for years and years...when talking with my friends, I realized I was not alone. One of my best friends was addicted to eating crushed ice, and casually mentioned it to her doctor. He knew about the connection to anemia, and ran some blood tests on her. Turns out, she is anemic and was put on medication for it! Her habit of chewing crushed ice ended up being a warning sign for anemia. After researching it, I found this short but to-the-point answer:

Next time I go to my doctor, I will be mentioning my ice-chewing habit! I will have to wait and see what happens!

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