GLUTEN INTOLERANCE may be a cause of ice chewing/pagophagia!

Possible medical based reasons for ice chewing.

GLUTEN INTOLERANCE may be a cause of ice chewing/pagophagia!

Postby Concerned lady » Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:15 pm

One symptom of GLUTEN INTOLERANCE may be the ice chewing "pica" (pagophagia). Here's a possible reason:

Gluten is a protein like glue-y substance found in WHEAT, RYE, BARLEY, OATS, BUCKWHEAT, ETC. (Brown rice is gluten-free).

People who have an intolerance to (sensitivity to) gluten, may react with an auto-immune response, when they eat glutenous foods (any of the following that are made with glutenous grains: bread, muffins, bagels, crackers, pretzels, cookies, cakes, gravies thickened with glutenous grains, soy sauces containing wheat, etc.).

In many people who are gluten intolerant, their digestion and absorption is badly affected (from damage to the small intestine), and this can cause an IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA, and other health problems.

Another problem can be that a gluten intolerance can cause stomach problems too, leading to gastric reflux.

When people take "acid blockers" (medications) for their gastric reflux, this stops the stomach from producing the normal acid (HCl/hydrochloric acid).

But, in order for IRON and other important minerals (like CALCIUM, ZINC, MAGNESIUM, trace minerals, etc.) and important vitamins to be absorbed (like Vitamin B-12, other "B" vitamins, etc.), the stomach must have ACID in it.

So, for those who might want to not be an ice eater, and for family members who want to share this info with an ice eater, I recommend looking at a good forum (nice people, good info) called "Gluten Intolerance/Celiac Disease", over at

From what I can tell (correct me if I'm wrong), ice eating can have both physical causes, and may also be an eating disorder &/or a type of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

Also, some types of OCD develop after people have a Streptococcus infection. There's a forum about this, called PANDAS (ior similar name), also at

Good luck to all.

Concerned lady
Concerned lady
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Postby SweetT72 » Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:27 pm

Thanks for the information.

I suffer from digestive problems a lot. I will look into this.
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Location: Chicago IL

Postby Alinser » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:11 pm

Hi -- I've been to this site in the past, and have had a thing for ice for a while, I've been anemic for about 6 years -- and just this month I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (gluten & wheat intolerance).

Apparently this is the reason for my anemia.. Never had problems with my stomach until very recently which lead me to get tested & it turns out I have it!

I think ALOT of people have this but it is horribly mis-diagnosed in the US as other things... It's much more prevalent (or should I say, tested) in Europe, specifically the UK & Italy.

SO -- if you have unexplained anemia with any stomach issues or any family history (my sister has it)... you should get tested -- Blood test first, then endoscopy with Gastro Doc.
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Postby Nivalia » Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:46 pm

This post scares me a bit. I have been eating ice for over half a year now and I adore it. My love for ice is rivaled only by my love for pasta and grain products.

My father is celiac however...he got it quite randomly when he was in his 30s and its been my biggest fear that I will inherit it. I would eat so much less without my grains, I can't live without pasta!

I am iron deficient too...just generally...I don't believe I'm anemic...
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Location: Canada

Re: GLUTEN INTOLERANCE may be a cause of ice chewing/pagophagia!

Postby glacier » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:35 pm

I have an ice chewing addiction. I have a freezer with a built in ice crusher. When home, I rarely am not eating ice. It is so bad that I hang out in a separate room from my husband so he doesn't hear me.

I eat so much ice that it affects my digestion. Warm liquids help digestion, cold solidify it. I know - I'm the proof.

My teeth get sore, my shoulder blade hurts from the cold, my stomach, which I'm sure is frozen, feels burnt. My stomach is now enlarged. I feel swollen. I've read that cold body temperature actually slows digestion and I wonder if it affects the natural bacteria in our bodies which we need. I take probiotics, but chew so much ice, they probably don't live. If you haven't heard of probiotics, look them up.

I am anemic and have been for years. My dr says the ice chewing is caused by the anemia.

I'm thinking of trying hypno-therapy. I know I am causing myself serious health issues by eating this ice. My other goal is to find the cause and cure the anemia.
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Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:21 pm

Re: GLUTEN INTOLERANCE may be a cause of ice chewing/pagophagia!

Postby glacier » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:39 pm

p.s. I forgot to mention that I was diagnosed with spondylitis arthritus (spelling?). I have an auto-immune response to gluten and dairy. When I do not stick with a veggie/fruit and chicken/fish/beef diet I get very tired and sore. I only mention this because someone mentioned that the ice chewing is a symptom of those who have the auto-immune response to gluten. Thank you. It seems all my 'issues' are related.
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Re: GLUTEN INTOLERANCE may be a cause of ice chewing/pagopha

Postby bennyce » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:25 am

What are some brand names of good dust mite/allergy killing laundry detergent & carpet cleaner? I just recently discovered that such things were made, to actually wash your bed sheets in & clean your carpet with, that help to kill dust-mites & other allergy causing agents. But that's all I know. What are some brand names of these products & where can I find them? Thanks!
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