Possibly. Doctors use the term \”pica\” to describe craving and chewing substances that have no nutritional value such as ice, clay, soil or paper. Craving and chewing ice (pagophagia) is often associated with iron deficiency, with or without anemia, although the reason is unclear. At least one study indicates that ice chewing might increase alertness in people with iron deficiency anemia. Less commonly, other nutritional problems may cause you to crave and chew ice. And in some individuals, pica is a sign of emotional problems, such as stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder or a developmental disorder.
A thorough medical evaluation can help determine if pica is due to an underlying medical condition. If the cause of pica is an emotional or developmental issue, cognitive behavioral therapy may be helpful. March 09, 2018
Several conditions can cause people to crave ice. They include: Compulsive ice eating is often associated with a common type of anemia called.
Anemia occurs when your blood doesnвt have enough healthy red blood cells. The job of red blood cells is to carry oxygen throughout your bodyвs tissues. Without that oxygen, you may feel tired and short of breath. People with iron deficiency anemia donвt have enough iron in their blood. Iron is essential to building healthy red blood cells. Without it, the red blood cells canвt carry oxygen the way theyвre supposed to. believe that chewing ice triggers an effect in people with iron deficiency anemia that sends more blood up to the brain.
More blood in the brain means more oxygen in the brain. Because the brain is used to being deprived of oxygen, this spike of oxygen may lead to increased alertness and clarity of thinking. The researchers cited a small study in which participants were given a test before and after eating ice. The participants with anemia did significantly better after eating ice. Participants without anemia werenвt affected. is an eating disorder in which people compulsively eat one or more nonfood items, such as ice, clay, paper, ash, or dirt. is a subtype of pica.
It involves compulsively eating ice, snow, or ice water. People with pica arenвt compelled to eat ice because of a physical disorder like anemia. Instead, itвs a mental disorder. Pica often occurs alongside other psychiatric conditions and intellectual disabilities. It can also develop during pregnancy.