Discussions By Condition: Blood conditions

Anemia - ice chewing

Posted In: Blood conditions 108 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • August 23, 2006
  • 11:59 AM

Hello! My doctor thinks my anemia is caused by chewing ice. Has anyone ever heard of this? I am cutting way back but it has been such a habit that I slip sometimes without thinking. I am in my late 50's and seem to need to take iron every day to keep my levels up. I dont want to do this. We have ruled out all other causes and now she wants to do a bone marrow test. I dont want to do this either. Has anyone out there any knowledge about the ice connection? Could chewing just a little cause anemia? Thank you for any replies.

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  • I have been anemic since I was 17 years old. I am now 38, and have lived on iron pills. I have always been told by my doctor that ice chewing is a symptom of anemia and not a cause. As I take my iron pills, I find that I stop chewing ice. Let me know how your anemia goes after you take your pills, take care.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 24, 2006
    • 05:49 PM
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  • Yes i have heard of ice chewing as a symptom of anemia. It does not cause anemia but is i believe your bodies way of telling you that you are anemic. Iron supplements usually correct this problem. I have also heard of pain in the calves of your legs when you are anemic.good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 24, 2006
    • 06:16 PM
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  • I've never heard of this. Why chewing ice? What explaination does the doctor give for why the body needs ice when you are anemic....it's just frozen water. I don't understand why or what makes you want to chew ice? If there isn't ice in the house, do you go out and buy ice?Do you know what has caused your anemia? I have iron deficiency anemia now from bleeding from GI problems. I am just very tired all the time. I don't have any desire or compulsion to chew ice. I probably don't have the energy to chew it!Tell me more.Karen
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 27, 2006
    • 04:53 AM
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  • I remember reading about this in my nutrition book. The ice chewing doesn't cause anemia. If a person is anemic they may eat non-food substances. The book talked about anemics consuming ice or chalk! I'm anemic (currently below the borderline) and am taking the Rx iron pills till I get back within range. I've never had the urge to chew ice. I wonder though... my sister chews ice all the time... I may suggest she go get her iron levels checked out. :)~ Anna
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 14, 2006
    • 03:48 AM
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  • Hi, I am an ex ice chewer with anemia. My Doctor told me I was in need of the fluid. I know that I just wanted the ice and had to have it (in large quantities) I made my own that were sweet - I think I was trying to get energy from the sugar also. If I couldn't have my ice, ordinary ice was almost as good. Once my iron levels improved, I lost the craving. I have read that this craving is not unusual with anemia and it was noted that people will crave odd things including dirt. At least our craving kept us well hydrated and wasn't too extreme. It's only water. It would be hard to explain dirt sandwiches for lunch.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 10, 2006
    • 03:26 AM
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  • Iron-deficiency anemia can cause swelling in the gums and stomach. It is thought that chewing ice can help alleviate some of this swelling. Your body knows! Although, your dentist would probably disagree with the ice chewing habit, as many people break teeth and damage gums from chewing ice, so be careful.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 5, 2006
    • 03:31 AM
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  • i'm 17 now, and i've been anemic since i was 12 i just can't get enough of chewing ice, it tasted so good! i use take iron pills when i was 12 but ran out and havent took any since. sometimes i feel fine and i think i'm ok, the next day my heart is racing and i can't stand up. its bad i know i need to stop chewing but it helps me release my anger and makes me feel relaxed.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 6, 2006
    • 07:53 PM
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  • Chewing ice is a definite symptom of anemia. BUT more importantly you may have a big problem than low blood counts. There are several causes of anemia and YOU MUST SEEK MEDICAL HELP. If you have cravings for ice then you are certainly anemic. Anemia can be caused by a tumor, gastric blood loss or a variety of things that require medical attention. I am having a scope done (endoscopy and colonoscopy) after telling my doctor I was eating ice and they discovered I was anemic. They are looking for colon cancer, tumors or blood loss (perferations...ulcers).Chewing ice is scary to me now.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 9, 2006
    • 04:22 AM
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  • my son is anemic and his hematologist told him that the ice chewing was a SYMPTOM if anemia, not the cause.
    ljrcsr 4 Replies
    • December 14, 2006
    • 00:59 PM
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  • Definitely a symptom- not a cause - I wish I had known all the side effects of anemia before because I have had a craving to chew ice for years and sleeping issues (couldn't sleep without a pill for years) once I started taking the iron pills both of these stopped within the first week. Now I just hope to get my energy back. It took years to get this way, hopefully it won't take years to get it back!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 2, 2007
    • 06:34 PM
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  • Yes. I have been told at the hospital that chewing ice is a sign of anemia. And I know that I have always craved ice since I was little(now 40). Today alone i chewed 5 cups.I found out about my anemia when i was 18 and pregnant with my first child. I just can't figure out what the ice does to help if anything. Perhaps it just provides hydration. As for the teeth. Get a blender!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 5, 2007
    • 04:22 AM
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  • omg I chew Ice ALL the time my hubby bought me a crushed ice machine 7 yrs ago I have been eating ice since I was prolly 12 or 13. I eat Ice all day and even take hot baths w/a bucket of ice in the winter time and heat my kids outta the car cause of my ice. Could it be something other than anemia??? Cause I have gone to my dr. every year for my check ups and the only time she told me I was anemic was when I was pregnant (that was 8 1/2 yrs ago) and I was only slightly anemic then and I took the stupid iron pills that made me constipated.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 5, 2007
    • 05:29 AM
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  • I am 12 and I chew ice ALL the time(right now im doing it) my dad always wondered why I chew ice and my brother (who is an emt) said because i'm anemic but I never was tested for anemia. But I know for a definite fact that ice chewing can't caue anemia but it is a symptom.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2007
    • 11:55 AM
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  • Hello, I am so glad I found this site. I have been an ice chewer off and on for years. But now I am 51 and it is really bad. I drive to Sonic 4 times a day to get a large drink because only their ice will do!! My Doctor says it is a symptom of anemia. I tried iron but in order to get enough in me to get my levels up even a little i was so constipated I was going nuts. Next week i go to a hematologist.
    rosydi 2 Replies
    • January 14, 2007
    • 11:38 PM
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  • Wow! I can't wait to tell my husband. We're both ice chewers and both anemic and never knew. We both take iron these days and I haven't chewed ice for years now. I can't wait to explore this site and found out more about everything.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 19, 2007
    • 08:15 PM
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  • Good Luck. I am still an avid ice chewer!!! I guess it could be worse we could be doing other things instead, like eating DIRT!!! ugh.. later,:)
    rosydi 2 Replies
    • January 21, 2007
    • 03:53 PM
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  • Hi. I also chew ice all the time. I love it. And I've recently been diagnosed with severe anemia. My hemoglobin was down to a 6 . My doctor said that ice chewing is just a symptom for iron-deficient anemia. Right now I've been taking iron 3 times a day. Although they said I should be able to stop after about 4 months or so. And I'm 14, so I'm hoping that I don't have to take it for the rest of my life. haha. I'm gonna have to say that your anemia wasn't cause by the ice chewing, but that ice chewing is just a symptom/habit that begins with an iron deficiency.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 14, 2007
    • 06:05 PM
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  • Hmmm... I thought the craving for ice and other non nutritive/non food items in anemic people is called pica. At least that's what I've heard it referred to... It's the same thing that makes kids eat dirt, or lead paint, etc... They think it's caused by a craving of minerals...so that's why someone with iron deficiency anemia may crave such things. Once the anemia is resolved the craving usually goes away... unless you're addicted to eating ice (like biting your nails or chewing gum) in which case it's just a habit.I crave ice like mad and have been anemic for years.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 26, 2007
    • 10:09 AM
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  • Im anemic and the cause was not due to chewing on ice.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, Cracks in the corner of your mouth also is a sign of Iron Deficiency. When I get the cracks at the corner of my mouth,I can take an iron pill at night and when I get up in the AM,it's gone. I have had trouble with Iron Deficiency,for many years. Does any one elsa get this symptom ?Hugs Shirley
    Shirley M 21 Replies Flag this Response
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