A member asked:

Is ice chewing a symptom of anemia?

7 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Pedro Hernandez answered

Specializes in Geriatrics

PICA: In medicine we call "pica" to the strong desire to eat or drink very unusual substances or foods. Children and adults with pica may eat: animal feces, clay, dirt, hairballs, ice, paint, sand.This pattern of eating should last 1 mo.In pregnancy, in childhood, and in malnourished populations is more common.It is true that iron or zinc deficiency could be present but could also be psycological.

Answered 11/5/2014

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Dr. Martin Rubenstein answered

Specializes in Hematology and Oncology

Yes.: A compulsion to chew ice is a manifestation of iron deficiency anema, but not anemias from other causes. A sore tongue may also occur. Chewing on any peculiar substance, including clay in some, also can be from iron deficiency. The term for this behavior is "pica.".

Answered 11/19/2012

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