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Ice Craving Could Signal Iron Deficiency

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Q. I read about the person who ate ice all the time. I too ate ice excessively. When I started taking an iron tablet every day, the craving stopped.

Eating ice can totally ruin your teeth. Several months after I quit eating ice I had two caps come loose. Now I have five teeth that require major dental work and a bridge because of crunching ice.

A. Thanks for the word of warning. We suggest anyone with strange cravings, whether for ice, laundry starch or even popcorn, should be tested for iron or zinc deficiency. Correcting the deficiency may ease the craving.

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I too had a craving for ice when I had an iron deficiency. My doctor told me that some people with the same deficency can also crave mud or dirt.

I've been chewing on ice for years, every day. I also take a multivitamin every day but it hasn't stopped my ice craving. Do I need to take more iron or zinc? What's the recommended daily allowance for a 40 year old woman?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT WILL BE MOST EFFECTIVE TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR TO CHECK YOUR ZINC AND IRON STATUS. THEN YOU WILL KNOW WHICH YOU NEED. RDA MAY NOT BE RIGHT FOR YOU.

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