2 doctors weighed in:
What is the association between pagophagia and iron deficiency?
2 doctors weighed in

Dr. Joel Gallant
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
In brief: Dirt substitute?
It's been suggested that we're genetically wired to crave gritty or crunchy substances when we have iron deficiency because dirt and clay contain iron.
(ice does not, but may satisfy this instinctive craving anyway.) however, this folk wisdom is controversial, and others have suggested that chewing ice simply relieves the tongue discomfort that can occur with iron deficiency.

In brief: Dirt substitute?
It's been suggested that we're genetically wired to crave gritty or crunchy substances when we have iron deficiency because dirt and clay contain iron.
(ice does not, but may satisfy this instinctive craving anyway.) however, this folk wisdom is controversial, and others have suggested that chewing ice simply relieves the tongue discomfort that can occur with iron deficiency.
Dr. Joel Gallant
Dr. Joel Gallant
Thank
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Wound care
In brief: Pagophagia
The exact relationship between chewing on ice and iron deficiency has not been exactly worked out.
Many physicians will order iron studies on patients that report chewing on ice just to make sure there are no deficiencies. Further studies will be needed.

In brief: Pagophagia
The exact relationship between chewing on ice and iron deficiency has not been exactly worked out.
Many physicians will order iron studies on patients that report chewing on ice just to make sure there are no deficiencies. Further studies will be needed.
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Vicken Poochikian
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
38 years in practice
2M people helped
Continue
107,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors