Sincere Concern

Possible medical based reasons for ice chewing.

Sincere Concern

Postby Icebreaker » Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:37 pm

I'm a concerned husband with a wife who recently and openly admitted that she is addicted to eating ice. I've noticed it for about a year. She would eat something and immediately follow it up with a glass of crushed ice. She adds water to it so that it softens more quickly. When I first told her that she was becoming addicted, she would lash out saying it was the only thing that would "settle" her stomach after eating. Now, she's out of control. When she wakes up, it's the first thing she gets. Our refrigerator can't make it fast enough since she eats about 10 to 12 glasses at times. Regardless of the weather, considering it's Winter now, she still has to have her ice. What's more, she tried to give blood and they turned her away for reasons of low iron deficiency. I'm not sure if the ice eating caused the deficiency or the other way around. It's so bad, that our dog has been conditioned to run to the refrigerator and beg for ice when she's crushing it. (The sound of the refrigertor makes the dog salivate)--the whole operant conditioning and Pavlov experiment.
I know she has a serious addiction and I'm concerned about her health; her iron deficiency and her teeth. I'm so glad to have found this forum where I can express my concerns and hear about the concerns of others. Please please please...if any of you reading this know of anything that can help me help her, I'm all ears.

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Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:23 pm

Postby noteeth » Mon Feb 02, 2004 11:15 am

If you've read anything else on this site, the reason is pretty obvious, low iron.


Postby ice2meetyou » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:13 am

My fiancée has been crunching ice for over 6 months now, and it's driving me nuts! The worst time is when we're lying in bed, relaxing and winding down after a long day, and she'll have this large glass of ice-water (more ice than water) on the nightstand. The sound of it is annoying to say the least, and I'm at my wits end!
I've heard that ice-crunchers are iron deficient; I've heard that it can be a thyroid problem. Because my fiancée is a heart patient and takes Coumadin on a regular basis, I'm afraid that any iron supplement we try will have adverse effects.
If anyone out there has any suggestions, I'm open to them.


Postby IceQueen » Wed Feb 18, 2004 3:24 pm

Seems it's the men who get annoyed by this habit. My husband has a "look" he gets when I chew. I know that look - it means "Why?!" I wish I could answer. Instead, I plan on when to chew and sneek in a few extra chomps as opportunity happens.
The Iron thing- some say its the reason. I tried to take supliments so the ice was unneceassiary. Unfortunately, my habit is solid as a cube.
Eating ice after a meal is a must!
The way it feels against the tongue, cleaning my mouth and giving water - is enjoyable as a piece of chocolate mouse. Perhaps its from wanting to keep the calorie count down, ice is less than crackers or chocolate.

Wish there was an answer to this but it seems we who chew will continue. You who dont...


Postby ACHIPMONK562@MSN.COM » Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:04 pm


NOT due to iron deficiency

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:34 am

i seriously doubt that iron deficiency is the reason i chew ice. my mother is even more iron deficient than i am and she's never been a chewer. i have been since before i was iron deficient (and after it's gotten back to normal levels, too). i chew the hell out of my mouth, too. for me it's an oral fixation. chewing on fingernails, smoking, biting my lip, chewing gum, chewing ice... they're all related. chewing ice is way cheaper (typically free) and a lot less destructive than the rest. we have a machine that makes those tiny little round crushed-ice cubes. they're the best. i'll take a cup or two home w/me. it used to be a lot worse- i'd bring some home and put it in the fridge so it wouldn't get really hard. i'd go through withdrawl on saturdays when i work but the cafeteria is closed and i couldn't get ice.

i didn't realize this was such a huge addiction! i'm not alone!

My poor teeth!

Postby Sarah From Texas » Mon Mar 15, 2004 1:56 am

I have been chewing ice for almost a year now. I started while I was prengant and I just can't stop. Tonight I chipped a tooth eating ice and i'm getting scared. My Iron count is so low but I am having a hard time getting it up. My whole life I have been addicted to soft drinks and for the first time in my life ...its something else i'm looking for ITS ICE!!...I get up in the morning at ice...we have three ice makers at work and I have to get to work early to get two cups to take to my desk with me...then I plot ways to eat it without being to annoying. My coworkers can't stand me for i have some of them chopin down on ice too!! I wanna stop but the cravings overtake me.
Sarah From Texas

I didn't know so many people had MY same obsession-ICE!!!

Postby IceGirlie » Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:08 am

:shock: Hello! :shock:
Okay just to start out I'm only a 15 year old little girl who in my case could soon have no teeth. My mom ate dirt and ice when she was pregnant with me and that may have been carried on to me I don't know, but I've definately never ate dirt just ice. The first time I actually realized that there must be something definately wrong was about 5 months ago. I was staying with a friend for a weekend and she didn't have any ice or ice trays to make it and her mom definately wasn't going anywhere to get any. I got sick over that weekend and had no strength just thinking about my no ice weekend. To me that's just a little to much. I've never been checked for any kind of anemia or anything, but I really do want to know if that's what's wrong with me. But, until then :D HAPPY CHEWING!!! :lol: [/b]

Hello fellow ice chewers

Postby Djinn » Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:38 pm

I can't believe there is an ice chewing forum - it seems the internet touches on a little of everything. I chewed ice when I was a kid, but gave it up in my teens. I recently returned to the havit for unknown reasons, other than we rented this house that has a new fridge with an icemaker. One day I just filled a cup and started popping ice in my mouth, and now I was back to chewing ice all over again. I should mention I am now 33. I started chewing in the dead of winter, and I am strangely sensitive to cold, have been all my life. When everyone else is in a t-shirt or tank top, I have a sweater on. I wonder how many on this list have a trim figure?
I am a drug addict, with an addiction to narcotics that I keep controlled by a daily intake of methadone, 80 mg. When I first got back into the habit of chewing ice, I wondered whether it might be that on those days when my methadone dose was low, I used chewing ice to stabilize my body temp. (If you don;t know one of the mildest signs of withdrawal is hot flashes and then suddenly getting cold.) But I noticed on the days right after I had come from the clinic and had a good supply, I still chewed ice like the devil! I am a welder in a shipyard in the south and in the summer it is dangerously hot on those ships, esp. if you have to work in a tank..I plan to bring a cooler to work with the little ice footballs from the icemaker, and keep a cube in my mouth consistently as I work to keep as cool as possible. Whether I can keep from chomping down on the ice in my mouth remains to be seen, but I'll try almost anything to keep cool.
Later, Lil' Bit

Ice Eating

Postby Betty » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:06 pm

Pica includes strong cravings for non-food items. The most frequent are
Dirt, clay

Paint chips, plaster, chalk

Cornstarch, laundry starch, baking soda

Coffee grounds

Cigarette ashes, burnt match heads


Other items that are not usually considered food

Pica is usually found in
Pregnant women

People whose diets are deficient in minerals contained in the consumed substances

People who have psychiatric disturbances such as hysteria

People with developmental disabilities or similar impairments.

People whose family or ethnic customs include eating certain non-food substances

People who diet, become hungry, and then try to ease hunger and cravings with low-calorie, non-food substances.

Some pica is harmless
But if the craved substance is toxic or contaminated (intestinal infections and parasites are particular concerns), or if it blocks the intestines, it can lead to medical emergency and death. Medical evaluation is essential.

Pica: facts and theories
The person must regularly eat these craved substances for a month or more before a diagnosis is given.

The name "pica" comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird that is famous for eating anything and everything.

Perhaps ten to twenty percent of children have pica at some time before adulthood.

Depending on the population, zero percent to sixty-eight percent of pregnant women have pica. Those in lower socioeconomic groups seem to have more of these cravings.

In some cases, pica is related not to dietary deficiencies but to folk traditions passed on in families or ethnic groups.

Some people treat clay or dirt eating as a part of daily routine, somewhat like smoking.

Others believe that eating dirt will help them incorporate magical spirits from the Earth into their bodies.

Still others believe that certain kinds of clay will suppress morning sickness when eaten.

Some children with pica may be imitating a pet dog or cat.

Stress may be a precipitating factor, especially the stress of dieting when the person tries to relieve hunger and cravings with non-food substances.

There is evidence to support the hypothesis that at least some pica is a response to dietary deficiency. Pregnant women, for example, have given up pica after they were treated for iron-deficiency anemia.

But other cases of pica can cause dietary deficiencies because the consumed substances block absorption of essential nutrients in the intestines.

If pica is a lifestyle choice that does not harm the individual, and if it is not part of an underlying eating disorder, it can go untreated, but care should be taken to protect against toxic substances (such as lead in paint and plaster chips). The person must be alert for symptoms (pain, lack of bowel movements, abdominal bloat and distention) that suggest the substance has formed an indigestible mass that has blocked the intestines. If such is the case, immediate medical attention is necessary.

Postby TheIceQueen » Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:01 am

I have been chewing ice for about 4 months now and I cant stop I work at a gas station and so I have ice in front of me all day long. I heard on a medical website that ice can cause your body to not absorb Iron which scares me because I already have a problem with that I have seen the doctor for it and if ice is the problem I need to stop!! Help me!

Lots of Ice Chewing

Postby MsMary » Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:42 pm

This feels a bit like a confession board but I too am a serious ice chewer and have been most of my life. I too am iron deficient and have been since puberty. I take iron 4 days a week and still have a hard time getting my iron blood levels up to a normal level. If I miss a day of iron it drops to severly anemic levels really quickly. Oddly my anemia has never affected my energy level. I now have an ulcer and wonder what the ice chewing is doing to that. How do I chew ice? I have a 40 mile commute to work each way and have found a supermarket on the way that sells a packaged ice that is fairly soft (it is a white ice, meaning it has lots of air in it) so it is softer to chew and I buy a bag on my way to work in the morning, in my office I generally eat a bowl or two a day and then finish the 7 lb bag on my way home. I keep a thermal bag in my car so it doesn't melt too fast but it is quite slushy by the time I am home in the evening. I do this so my fiance doesn't realize just how much ice chewing I really do do, at home I can be more demure around ice instead of the possessed person I am in my car. I often wonder what people think who look in my car and can see a bag of ice on the seat next to me! I guess some folks talk on the phone--I chew ice!

Postby Guest » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:20 am

I recently spent time in the ICU of our local hospital becasue I had 2 pints of blood in my entire body. I was badly pagophagic, and I have since learned this is symptomatic of iron deficiency anemia. After being pumped full of 5 pints of blood in one night, then placed on ferrous fumarate, all ice cravings have stopped.

The lack of iron caused my body to be unable to produce blood cells properly. I now have to monitor my heart rate, as it's a symptom of blood loss, to make sure I do not continue to loose blood.

And I just thought my ice habit was refreshing and theraputic.

Be careful guys, I know the joys of crunching ice too, but make sure you are all healthy. They didn't think I would survive the night.

former addict

Postby tj » Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:21 pm

Every woman who chews ice should have her iron tested. This is clearly a major cause. MANY WOMAN ARE RELUCTANT TO TAKE IRON because most of the stuff you buy in the store causes constipation. But, there is an all natural product available in most health food stores (like Whole Foods) which has a very low occurance of this. It's called Floradix/Floravital. It is a liquid and tastes a little like Geritol (slightly bitter and metalic). It saved my life. And, no I'm not a sales person. Just a good customer.
I became severly anemic due to a medical condition and practically over night became obsessed with ice. It happened almost without me realizing it. It was only after several people pointed out that these two things are often related that I connected them chronilogically.
For two years, I could not be with out ice. I would panic if I could not find the "right" kind. My car was full of cups and my Our Shitty I'm a spammer who can't get a job. Also, our product sucsk - don't buy from us. Suck and We will rip you off! had a stack of styrofoam cups I brought home from work every day. I started drinking iced coffee instead of hot. I almost did not want to go to sleep because it meant no more ice. During this time I was working to manage my anemia and bring my levels up. Gradually things leveled off and so did my cravings. One day I found that ice was not the first thing I thought about every morning. It was such a relief when I realized that I could enjoy a meal with my friends with chomping away on cubes. I still enjoy chewing ice occasionaly (esp. in the heat) but now it is a choice, not a compulsion.
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gastric bypass surgery

Postby Cheryl » Tue Sep 21, 2004 9:48 am

I am 31 years old and had gastric bypass surgery 3 years ago. I never craved ice until about a year after the surgery. Due to my stomach being much smaller, my absorption abilities have decreased....especially IRON absorption. My doctor has had me on an iron suppliment for 2 years and it was so low at one point that I had to be infused with iron. I LOVE my ice...and I am very particular about it....(the girls at the convenience store laugh at me). I chew first thing in the morning and it is the last thing I am doing before bed. But....there are times when I stop...for a month or two...for no apparent reason. But it always comes back. As much as I love it...I have been laying in bed in agony because my teeth and my mouth hurt so bad that all I can do is rock back and fourth :( . I love ice, but I hate ice! Is there anyone else out there who has had gastric bypass surgery? Anyone else who shares my experience?? I'd be so happy to hear about it!

Chew, chew, chew, chew, chew.....all the damn time! :shock:



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