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Radish Addict Is Growing Desperate

Q. I am addicted to radishes. My mom doesn’t want me to eat them but I can’t go without having at least 10 a day.

My mom stopped buying them so I would stop eating them. Before this, I just liked them, but now I feel like I am already addicted. What can I do?

A. Ask your mom to take you to the doctor. Cravings like yours can be a consequence of an iron or zinc deficiency, and the doctor can do a test to find out if you are deficient.

We have heard from other people who craved carrots, tomatoes, popcorn or orange peels to an unusual extent, just as you do with radishes. When people crave things that are not food, like clay, laundry starch or ice, it is called pica. This condition usually goes away once the underlying deficiency is corrected.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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