Ice, Ice Baby: Iron Deficiency Anemia and Pica (Eating Ice or a Non-Food Item)

In this segment of The Anemia Red Flag Diaries entitled Ice, Ice Baby: Iron Deficiency Anemia and Pica (Eating Ice or a Non-Food Item), Ronnetta Griffin describes her obsessive pattern of craving and eating ice. She explains how she learned that what she thought was just a bad habit was in fact an eating disorder called "Pica" and a really big "red flag" for Iron Deficiency Anemia.

10 comments (Add your own)

1. Karen wrote:
I never had the PICA...I have every other symptom but I did not crave Ice instead I craved coffee...Weird huh...Currently I am taking Iron supplements 3 ties a day, still so very tired and sleepy, hopefully things will start looking up here n a few more weeks..Thanks for all the info...

Thu, March 27, 2014 @ 2:39 PM

2. Kerri wrote:
I have 'craved' cauliflower for about 7 years (just about the same time I was originally diagnosed with IDA). I didn't do great with oral iron (non-compliant, confused by all the OTC options, etc).

3 weeks ago I started IV Iron Infusions and B12 shots. This past week, I have lost ALL desire for cauliflower. My habit was up to 3 heads a week, and I didn't wash - usually because I was lazy and/or just wanted to eat as soon as possible, or a combination of the two.

Anyway. I think it's entirely fascinating and think it's also a type of PICA (even though cauliflower is t a real "food"). I also don't think it's psychosomatic, as I never associated my 'desire' for cauliflower to be related to the IDA.

Wed, March 11, 2015 @ 9:51 AM

3. Seleniux wrote:
I also broke s tooth, one I'd invested +$1500 in, eating ice. I have my preference which restaurant has the best, which drive thru charges for it, I would have a 7lb bag in the back seat and go to thru the drive-thru and get two large drinks one with the ice to the rim + 4 extra cups of ice. In my head I would say I'm getting a cup of ice each, 1 for partner, 1 each for my two dogs and one for me, but they really were all mine (my drink + 4 ice cups. One of my favorites is Valero, 64 oz cup of ice $.35 ( I get 2). I go through a 7lb bag in under 12 hours ( I only get 4 lrg. cups out of it) daily. I go through a 20lb. bag in under 48 hrs. Fresno, CA. summer days are hella hot +💯 F, but I will be cold why chicken bumps and all because of the non stop ice eating. It's the first and last thing I do daily. I hate crunch ice, but will use it to fill in the gaps in my to the rim ( I actually put a mountain top) ice cup. If I'm in a hotel I'm in heaven, ice machine. I have no ice cube trays they all break and I can't wait did ice to freeze. I want to buy an I ice machine but I know I wouldn't leave its side, so I've tried my best to refrain from buying one and stick to a 7lb bag a day. I've chewed ice all my life, but nonstop (it's my passion) as of March 2010 (mom was in hospital, hospital had free ice in cafeteria and mom was in CVICU & CICU for 3 mos.). Had blood work done couple mos. ago, got the results yesterday Aug. 7, the results were low Vitamin D and anemia (got 8.3 out of 12). Will start iron pills as soon as I pick prescription up. I can't even fathom the idea of going w/o ice, it's the only time in my entire day on a everyday basis when I'm truly happy. When I'm crunching on that ice in truly happy, nothing bothers me and I care about nothing else except for me and that cup. Life is good when I'm crunching ice, if that goes away my life will be utter misery and it ain't no joke!!!

Sat, August 8, 2015 @ 2:59 PM

4. Nicky Usher wrote:
Hey, I've been told I'm anaemic 3 weeks ago but since October had been telling people I felt my body was changing somehow as it was craving Green Veg all the time, I eat raw greens every day, can't get enough of them, to the point I'm in the car rushing home to have them. The other weird thing is when I'm out with my dog walking in the woods and I see all the leaves and branches and grass, I feel like I really want to eat it. It's really strange....I also crave oat bran, but as it comes in powder. The final thing I've noticed although not sure to do with anaemia or IDA is I have an unbearable urge to sniff my clean washing...just typing it now makes me need to do it. Doctor thinks iron deficiency as my periods are really heavy, just coming to the end of a 12 day period now, having used 38 tampons ! Today is a bad day. I'm exhausted, weak, dizzy, breathless. Haemoglobin is 9 so not severe, and they just sent my blood off today to test for the iron.....this is a great site, nice to not feel like I'm "making up my exhaustion"....is thought for the past 4 months I must be really unfit and lazy...wasn't sure why I couldn't run up a small hill with my sister without being so breathless and thinking I could pass out....thanks for sharing all the stories...

Thu, February 4, 2016 @ 2:27 PM

5. Pat wrote:
Mine was Altoids. I started eating so many of them, that I had to figure out how to make them at home cheaper. I would go through a pound of them in about 5 days. Once my anemia was under control, I no longer craved them.

Sat, October 22, 2016 @ 7:10 AM

6. Darlene wrote:
Starting eating ice at first and now chew on rubber bands and I eat beer salt lime by itself. Hemoglobin is at a 6. Going to have my first iv infusion next week. Im glad I finally found a doctor that wants to help me.

Wed, March 1, 2017 @ 1:41 AM

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Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 7:02 PM

8. Anonymous wrote:
I'm so addicted to ice it's crazy. I want a sonic ice machine!! I get it from drive they'd,hotels, my freezer, and etc. I know it's bad but love it so much

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