Why Craving Frozen Water May Indicate Anemia
Munching on ice is a soothing way to refresh your mouth and help hydrate your body with the water it needs. However, if you've noticed yourself habitually chewing ice, or craving it throughout the day, this odd hankering many indicate a more serious issue. So, what does eating ice mean? The human body is a curious contraption. Instincts often lurk behind unassuming actions, and ice grinding is no exception.
The Biggest Cause of Ice Cravings
Iron deficiency and anemia are the top causes of obsessive ice snacking. Mild iron deficiencies and more serious anemia disorders occur when your body experiences an iron imbalance, which results when you don't consume enough in your diet. Excessive iron usage by the body through physical exertion or diseases is another way iron is lost.
Recognizing these deficiencies is clear, thanks to a well documented medical history. Ongoing fatigue, sluggishness, muscle spasms, and frequent sores in the mouth are common signs of a body that lacks enough iron. The most telling physical sign in more severe anemia cases is the chalky white hue coloring the skin.
Few realize that iron is important for sound mental health too, and failing to get enough can weigh on a person's moods. Anxiety and depression descend over individuals afflicted with anemia. Too often, many people rush out for drugs or therapy designed to treat these symptoms, rather than examining whether or not a nutrient deficiency is present.
All About Pica
Eating and desiring ice is directly tied to another behavioral symptom of iron deficiency, a strange appetite disorder called pica. Whenever it surfaces, pica fills you with the desire to ingest substances that normally aren't viewed as food. Paper, wood, and dirt are regularly gnawed on by sufferers. Ice from trays, machines, or even the sides of freezers is similarly sought after in cases where iron deficiency is the underlying problem.
Tangible items like wood or sand actually contain minerals and metals the body needs. Young children, who have fewer inhibitions than adults, often consume them. Ice, though, is just water. Its frigid taste takes on a metallic quality for most people, which fools the senses into thinking there's iron content where there really isn't any. Unless your ice is made from water that's naturally high in metals, pica is behind the cravings, but eating more ice never cures it.
Cures for Iron Deficiency
Attacking the deficiency at the root of ice chomping behavior is needed to solve this problem. If there's any doubt about whether or not you have an iron shortage or you're anemic, consult a physician. A simple blood test is all it takes to determine your body's iron count.
Whether you see a doctor or not, a good supplement program is the best cure for iron deficiency. Take a quality multivitamin if tests reveal your body is deficient in several essential nutrients. However, if iron deficiency is the only problem, you can get by with iron tablets alone. High potency caplets made by Ferro-Sequel are well regarded for getting your iron levels up, and they provide good value for your dollar.
Now that you know what eating ice means, you can catch iron deficiencies before they produce more serious troubles. Don't be fooled by the seemingly benign effects of lacking iron. A long running deficit could wear your body down, exposing you to painful illnesses. Preventative action is always better than waiting to get sick.