Q. I have been eating Argo cornstarch since I was 19. It started when I was in my first pregnancy and I’ve been eating it ever since. I used to eat a box a day and I think it is making me gain weight. I’m trying to cut back but it’s hard. I also have a very low blood count. I have tried everything possible to stop but nothing is helping. I’m 33.

A. Your low blood count may provide the explanation. Ask your doctor about correcting the anemia. Low iron or zinc levels can sometimes trigger pica, a craving for non-food substances. Cornstarch and laundry starch are common objects of cravings, but we have also heard from readers who crave ice chips or even foods such as popcorn, carrots or radishes. Usually these cravings disappear once the deficiency is eliminated.

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  1. Tj
    Reply

    Hello Fellow Cornstarch cravers,
    I posted on this thread back in 2009:
    tj | August 17, 2009 3:53 PM | Reply
    My mother introduced me to eating Argo cornstarch from the box when I was a baby. I didn’t eat it as a child but when I grew up, I found a box in a friend’s pantry and began eating a spoonful or two during each visit until I had eventually eaten the entire box. I started buying boxes and between 1995 and 2009 went from eating a box within 3 months, to a box a day. My friends, and family would buy starch for me during my pregnancies but now chastise me for my habit calling starch my “crack” because I seem to be addicted to it. My mother is a nurse and has told me that if I continue eating a box a day, it may one day be my fate to have surgery to remove part of my intestine due to a cornstarch blockage. I want to stop this craving before such predictions become my reality.
    My updated story is that I have been cornstarch free for about a year now.
    It’s a challenge and I continue to have some cravings but not nearly as bad as in the past.
    At the height of my addiction, My body was craving nutrients and vitamins. So I started taking supplements and walking several times a week. I drank water instead of any other beverage and lowered my intake of other starches such as bread and rice etc… When I would pass by the supplier (my local mini mart) the starch seemed to be calling me it I ignored the craving and continued on my way. I was determined to kick the habit.
    Soon I lost weight and went from 220 pounds to 172. I continue to walk and eat healthy and I feel so much better. No more digestive nor skin issues and my joints are healthier as well.
    I wish you all a healthy journey to a starch free existence.
    Peace
    Tj

  2. ash
    Reply

    Omg The same exact things are happening to me. I’m no sexually active so I always wondered why I’d get yeast infections.

  3. ash
    Reply

    I have been eating cornstarch for about 4 years, at first I was just addicted to baby powder when I was a child then cornstarch. I eat a box a day and it is harming me physically. I have low iron bad teeth and now there is something wrong with my kidneys.
    I don’t know what to do. My family would try to help and dump hidden boxes and what not but all that did was made me angry and sneak and buy it.
    I sip it through a straw and in a foam cup so I can take it places w me. It’s gotten a lot worse I really want to stop.
    I am now the age 22

  4. Destiny
    Reply

    I have been eating cornstarch since for about 13 years. I just recently started drinking 135oz of water and it has cut my craving for cornstarch all together. I no longer have cravings for it.

  5. destiny
    Reply

    I was a cornstarch eater I went cold turkey it’s been 2months since I had any yes I get craving but I don’t give in to it. Am determined to kick the habit and I been eating it since I was 35 and and am now 45. But a box would last me for a 2 weeks and I don’t take any iron pills I just exercise and try to eat healthy.

  6. YR
    Reply

    I’m trying to lay off the cornstarch for good I’m 34 an I been eating cornstarch for about 15yrs it’s more that I chew it and spit it out just consuming small amounts I love the texture and the way it feels in my mouth. I know that I’m having problems with my iron. I’m so ready to give it up its hard the more you think about are talk about it you want your mouth begins to water just the though of that first bite drives me crazy like a lot of my fellow cornstarch eaters we have so much in common some of these stories was as if alot of you all was ready my mind knowing my thoughts that’s just how I feel I went from Argo to the wal-mart brand (great value) love it more then Argo unless they or sold out I like eating it with a a plastic spoon or if I’m in my car a straw i put a straw straight in the box an I thought I was the only one to do that (lol) wale it’s day3 for me without it I’m going cold turkey on this one. I don’t know how I’m going to do it normally I buy 6 boxes @ a time that only last for maybe 3days.Y’all wish me good luck.
    Thanks YR

  7. YR
    Reply

    I’m trying to lay off the cornstarch for good I’m 34 an I been eating cornstarch for about 15yrs it’s more that I chew it and spit it out just consuming small amounts I love the texture and the way it feels in my mouth. I know that I’m having problems with my iron. I’m so ready to give it up its hard the more you think about are talk about it you want your mouth begins to water just the though of that first bite drives me crazy like a lot of my fellow cornstarch eaters we have so much in common some of these stories was as if alot of you all was ready my mind knowing my thoughts that’s just how I feel I went from Argo to the wal-mart brand (great value) love it more then Argo unless they or sold out I like eating it with a a plastic spoon or if I’m in my car a straw i put a straw straight in the box an I thought I was the only one to do that (lol) wale it’s day3 for me without it I’m going cold turkey on this one. I don’t know how I’m going to do it normally I buy 6 boxes @ a time that only last for maybe 3days.Y’all wish me good luck.
    Thanks YR

  8. YR
    Reply

    You or tell my story this happened to me I’m fighting to kick this habit it starts today

  9. jm
    Reply

    I have been eating starch since I was 11 New I’m 23 when my mom would go and buy groceries I would get cornstarch while my sister would get snacks. Starch was mine. I crave it so bad that even on a full stomach I can eat about 4 heaping soup spoons of it. I’ve never been to the doctor or got my iron tested but I can relate to a lot of symptoms that I’ve read from other reviews heavy menstrual chest pains body aches sensitive teeth and plus more. I even think the cyst on my ovaries are the effect of eating it but I just can’t stop. My mom ate it and I just taken over my current boyfriend fuses about it but tries to be understanding while my ex would go outside to the garbage can pen it and dump it all out I would try hide it but he would find it ALWAYS.
    I’ve got it bad and I really need help. I could finish a box in a day I’ve gotten better over the years but not that much I tried taken calcium cause my bones hurt and I start child but even than I always go back to the God got saken box I
    IN NEED DESPERATE HELP ITS TAKING OVER ME………….

  10. Denise
    Reply

    Reading all these comments give me chills. I’ve been eating cornstarch since I was 15, I’m 19. My mom ate it for over 20 years & I tried it many times when I was young and always liked it but never was compelled to eat it at all. Then out of nowhere I started noticing myself reaching for it more and more. Then I started buying it for myself but I told myself there was no way I would become addicted to it like my mom but it just happened. I needed it. I wanted it all the time. I never ate more than 2 boxes a week however cause I always was hiding my addiction so I didn’t have enough time to eat it in private.
    I started to get severe headaches, heartburn, dizziness and blacking out when I stand, shortness of breath, super dry skin, constipation, yeast infections that would come back again and again, tooth decay, depression& finally my cycles became longer and heavier. All because of cornstarch. I never gained weight however I’ve always been tall and skinny.
    I recently started taking iron and multivitamins. I’m praying that this helps. But I’m confident that I wont go back. Its not worth it. Tell yourselves that ladies. Its not worth it. And if you don’t buy it you cant eat it. Don go down the cornstarch aisle at the store. Don’t buy it. It’s much harder to fight the craving if you have it. Good luck, god bless. Your stories helped me. I hope I help someone.

  11. apg
    Reply

    I’m 18 I’ve been eating cornstarch for a while now and I can’t stop I know its hurting me because my iron level is low but I cant stop eating it! I’ve even tried chalk and it didn’t give me the taste I was looking for I have also tried this baby powder that had corn starch in it but now I can’t find it in the stores my grandma thinks I’m eating cornstarch too much n she wont buy me anymore! I can’t fight my craving but I need to is there anything I can substitute it for that will give me the same pleasure as eating cornstarch does! PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME

  12. Baby Powder Lover
    Reply

    I love cornstarch in baby powder form. I just have to have it. I crave it after I eat and/or when I am depressed. I use to love the Johnson and Johnson’s kind but they changed something about it so now it tastes of plastic. I switched to walmarts brand which is cheaper and I am hooked. I wish I could get it in bulk and have it shipped to my home. I to have a low blood count. At the moment, the only side effect is that I have gone from a size 4 to a 12 and my stomach is extra big. People always ask if I am pregnant. I am starting to exercise in an effort to lose my stomach and if I do lose the stomach…..I AM NEVER GOING TO QUIT EATING BABY POWDER!!!!!!

  13. Me. Lovely
    Reply

    I eat too much argo corn starch what I do is heat mine up so it become really dry and crunchy and I do not swallow I spit it out this stuff is so addictive and hard to stop eating. My skin is always dry especially my feet. I have been eating it for 25 years. It is just impossible for me to stop I eat it when I wake up, during the day, and before I go to sleep. It also causes me to have discharge more now. I am a black female and I know I am anemic. I just love the texture I really eat a lot when I am stressed I can chew about 4 boxes a week. My teeth are cracking I am always tired and have mood swings like no other. I have to make myself eat food I think about it constantly when it’s not in my reach. I just love this stuff I hope one day I will stop eating it. I have family members that eat it just the same I guess it is a cultural thing amount black women. I really don’t know of men eating it at least not in my family. I pray the Argo company will stop making it in the box because I hate the container. Also my muscles twitch a lot now. I have to let this starch eating go.

  14. ttr
    Reply

    I too eat Cornstarch everyday. I am so happy I’m not alone, I always thought it was a family issue, because as everyone else, I got it from my mom. My boys eat it too. I am always cold my period are very heavy, and my teeth are eating away too. I never thought the cornstarch was doing this to me. Now that I do know cornstarch causes so many problems maybe that will help me to kick the habit. Good luck to you all, and pray for me to stop. Cornstarch is a drug, and I am addicited.

  15. Crissy B.
    Reply

    I’ve been addicted to eating cornstarch now for months as child I remember my mother giving us a teaspoon of it now I eat it, sneak it lie about it and knowing that it isn’t good for me I still will eat it.
    After reading up I these stories I pray to have the will power to stop I have to much to live for and that’s my 3 sons n grandchildren.
    As well I already suffer from other illnesses and they are enough to deal with to all whom are going through the same struggle get help if you can’t stop.

  16. miss dee
    Reply

    I want to thank everyone for posting their comments about eating cornstarch..and I have come to a conclusion that I am done done done…again thanks

  17. BD
    Reply

    I’m curious about my granddaughter’s addiction to lip balm (Chap Stick) even when her lips look moist. It seems I have read something about this. Is it an indication of a deficiency of some sort?

  18. MISSES
    Reply

    This is so true. I started getting bad teeth. I have been eating corn starch since 2005… I try to get off of it. It’s really hard. It has mad me gain stomach fat. It makes my chest hurt and I have really bad headaches. I went and bought some iron pills. so I hope this truly does help me….

  19. thandi
    Reply

    I have fibroids, did surgery in 2009 now they are back. I wish I could just grab them and crush them so they don’t reside in my womb. I have no kids, I used to eat clay in rural area because of poverty. Now I’m in the city I eat crush ice snow on the fridge side smell is good, hot or cold.

  20. BN
    Reply

    After a 10 year addiction to cornstarch, I was hospitalized and had a blood trans. I’m on iron and potassium and have no cravings. It’s been 6 mos. now and I haven’t had it or craved it. As long as he craves it, his iron is still low. If he can believe me, the cravings and all disappear when he regulates his blood. I dont want it or even think of it now. Never thought that would happen.

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