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Cornstarch Cravings

Cornstarch Cravings

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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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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