Q. Please help me. I am 35 years old and have been addicted to Argo Corn Starch for the past four years. How can I stop eating it? It makes my mouth dry and my limbs cramp. I have mood swings and have gained weight. But just knowing I shouldn’t eat starch is not enough.
A. Please see a doctor and ask to be tested for iron or zinc deficiency. Pica, compulsively eating a substance that is not food, is frequently associated with such a mineral deficiency and often goes away when the deficiency is corrected.
Here is another woman’s experience: “I have been eating Argo Corn Starch on and off for about 15 yrs now. I started in my teens and am now 28 years old. The only time I didn't eat any AT ALL is when I was pregnant.
“At one point in time, I was going through 4 boxes a week but I've cut back a lot. I don't even want to eat a full box now. It makes me very tired, but I crave it. I hate the fact I eat starch but I can't help it.
“I went to the doctor once about this and he prescribed prenatal pills. They were helpful until they were all gone!”
The prenatal supplements she found so helpful may have corrected an iron or zinc deficiency. That’s why we urge you to get tested. Psychological help such as cognitive behavioral counseling might be useful, but only after you have corrected any physiological deficiency.