Wonderful World of Pregnancy

What Does It Mean When You Crave Ice?

Do you feel the need to crunch ice? Are you already thinking about the next ice fix along with its satisfying sensation? Have you ever asked yourself why you sometimes feel the need to chew some ice all of the sudden instead of just chewing candy or gum?

What Does It Mean When You Crave Ice

While ice crushers or blenders are ideal for ice cube crunching, teeth really aren`t.

Lots of people feel the need to chew on ice, some of them especially during the summer season. It`s possible for you to experience an iron deficiency. Visit your doctor to perform a test and check if this involves you as well. Almost half of future mothers and around 20% of all the other women suffer of such anemia. Yet, just around 3% of all men have these medical problems.

What Does Craving for Ice Mean?

Lot of women might crave for ice at some point and the feeling is sometimes like an addiction for drugs. The first thing you`ll want to do is to visit your doctor for him to check you out.

Some women may feel tired all the time and can`t catch their breath. A medical examination could show that you are anemic. If this may happen and you see your physician getting concerned, then you obviously have reasons to worry.

It could gradually and you may be bleeding slowly. Some more tests might show a deficiency of iron due to heavy menstruation. In this case, you could take iron supplements to put you on your feet and get your count up to regular limits. Only then your ice cravings could go away. And they may also never return.

How Common Is to Crave Ice during Pregnancy?

One out of 5 pregnant women experience the symptom of sipping ice cold water or craving to chew ice cubes. Although these cravings for ice could occur just about in any pregnancy trimester, it`s believed to be as its peak in the 1st and 3rd trimesters.

Is This a Symptom of Pregnancy?

Lots of women have an intense wish of chewing cubes of ice during early pregnancy, but it isn`t as common as to think that is a pregnancy symptom.

Is Eating Ice Bad during Pregnancy?

Consuming ice cubes while pregnant isn`t as other pica signs, such as charcoal, sand, soap or stones, as there aren`t any chances of ingesting toxins. Still, if it`s occurring due to anemia or other similar conditions, it should be resolved as early as possible in order to prevent possible risks to the future child.

Tooth decay might also occur if chewing ice happens too often.

So, Is This a Symptom of Anemia?

Well, it`s quite possible! Medical experts use the “pica” term when they need to describe unusual cravings related to chewing substances with no nutritional values, like paper, ice, soap or soil. Craving for ice, also known as pagophagia, is frequently associated with deficiency of iron, with anemia or without, though the reason isn`t very clear.

There`s at least a study that shows that chewing ice may increase alertness in women who experience iron deficiency anemia.

Although it happen a lot less often, there other nutritional issues that might cause you to chew ice. And in certain women, pica represents a symptom of emotional issues, developmental disorder, stress or OCD

A very thorough medical examination could aid find out if this symptom occurs because an underlying condition. If the cause is related to a developmental or emotional problem, it could be quite helpful to choosing cognitive behavioral therapy.

Also read: Flu Like Body Aches In Early Pregnancy!

Chewing Cubes of Ice Can Harm your Teeth

While you might feel an urge to consume ice cubs, and you may consider them to soothe your inflamed gums or mouth, they may also be quite harmful for your teeth. Because of their coldness and hardness, chewing cubs of ice may lead to damaging your enamel, and you might get chips or cracks in your teeth

It might lead to issues with any existing dental work you might have as well, which include crowns and fillings, and might even lead to inflammation and pain in your jaw. So, it`s recommended to try and avoid ice cub chewing.

Research and Studies

In order to prove the relation between deficiency of iron and chewing ice, experts performed a study in which they evaluated the behavior of 91 patients who experience iron deficiency anemia and discovered pagophagia was a frequent type of pica.

From the group, 16% of those who took part and suffered of pagophagia showed relief of their signs faster with supplements of iron than the recovery of their levels of hemoglobin might have showed.

While this type of pica signs have been around since long ago, there seems to be a very young group of physicians who might not know the relations between a nutritional deficiency and substances that aren`t nutritional. – Check this out!

In a different case study, both the physicians as well as the patients weren`t aware of the importance of pica behavior and the association with iron deficiency.

Scientists advised that physicians take a closer look for chronic loss of blood in patients who showed behaviors of pica as it might be a sign of deficiency of iron and slow loss of blood. Anemia is the result of the blood cell level being lower than normal and decreased the body`s oxygen amount delivered to the cells.

With no oxygen, the body isn`t able to work efficiently. Still, when this loss happens rather slowly, the body might adapt and you might observe some kind of a difference in the way it functions until the red blood cell level gets so low that it may become dangerous. In other words, you might turn to be functionally anemic.

Image courtesy of heartofwisdom.com

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