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Feeling Tired? Craving Ice? You May be Anemic

If the photo above makes your mouth water, you may be anemic.

If your lips are chapped during winter it is not always the weather. You may be anemic.

Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia in the world, affecting mostly women, young children, and older people. It is estimated that 15 percent of menstruating women are affected.

I get regular blood transfusions because of my anemia problem. I can always tell I need more blood from my cravings.

Every time, without exception, my iron levels are normal the ice craving stop. I can’t even imagine why anyone would crave ice. But when I am anemic ice is my number one prority every day. It is amazing how much it influences my life– I become like a drug addict. Hunkering down under the covers chopping away on a cup of ice.

Symptoms of Anemia

Symptoms include: fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, irritability, dizziness, lightheadedness,  poor concentration, restless legs, increased infections, chapped lips,  and sometimes ice cravings.

Check Out this Health Board Thread on Ice Cravings and Anemia

It is amazing how many doctors don’t know ice cravings are a symptom of anemia.

Pregnancy

I’ve been pregnant nine times so I recognize the symptoms (I think most “quiver full” moms know this innately). I always know when my levels drop before the blood test reveals the amount because I start craving ice and naps. The difference in my energy levels is drastic.

My daughters also get anemic during every pregnancy. We joke that we know where to get the best ice in town (Sonic).

Any condition in which a person loses blood over a long period of time can cause iron-deficiency anemia. The most common cause in the USA is pregnancy and gastrointestinal bleeding. During pregnancy, a woman needs extra iron for her growing baby.

My non-pregnancy anemia (stomach bleeding) is controlled by occasional blood transfusions, monthly infusions by an oncologist, and a daily prescription pill. However, most women do not require transfusions or infusions.

Ice Cravings

Ice craving is a condition called pagophagia, or compulsive eating of ice. This is a form of pica, a condition in which people crave and eat non-food substances like ice, chalk, paper, laundry soap, starch, hair, dirt, clay, or paint.

There are several reports linking the craving of ice to iron-deficiency anemia (low blood count as a result of an iron-deficiency). In fact, there’s even a website called “All About Chewing Ice,” which also has a support group for people with this condition.

You can be anemic and not crave ice. If you are tired and craving ice, or your child craves ice add iron rich foods in your diet. See your doctor and ask for a blood test.  Only take iron supplements under a doctor’s supervision. Overloading the body with iron can be dangerous.

For more information on anemia see these handouts.

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About the Author

Homeschool mom to 11, Marmee to 14 and author.

Comments (87)

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  1. Jennifer says:

    You know the plastic cup you get a large coke in at McDonald’s? I used to go through that much ice in no time when I was a teenager. My mom had no idea she just thought I liked ice. We did find out while I was still living at home that I was anemic. The doctor told us about the ice thing and it was like a light bulb went off. I still fight being anemic and have to take iron supplements.
    Smiles!

    • donna butler says:

      my name is donna ,i am 51yrs old.i can not get thru the day without choomping on ice!!!!!!!!!!!!!i was diagnoised in sept. 2011 with amenia and got two(2) pints of blood . i was fine for a couple days but now the same ole symtons are back but they are even worse and i am so anxious,nervous ill minded and can,t remember from one day to the next!!!also i am in full blown menopause and the sweating never stops…. in other words i am niserable!!! can some give me some advice? i feel like a different women!!!

  2. kayla says:

    You have a great blog. i found you some how when i was looking for things on our sons birth defect esophageal atresia. I iwish you all the best. :eek:

  3. inyang says:

    wow, i never knew about this … i am always anemic … and yes, i do finish the ice in my drinks all the time!

  4. SheilaG says:

    This is so true! I’ve been on and off anemic most of my life, and I have often used the ice test to figure out if I’m getting anemic again!

    I also watch my daughters for it now, too, as they’re hitting puberty. It’s so great not to feel tired, and if there’s a simple solution like iron supplements, why not take it?

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  5. Jennifer says:

    I have anemia but have never craved ice.. interesting. My son likes to munch on ice tho.. I wonder if I should have his iron checked when he goes to the peds for his next PE.

  6. I craved iced with my last pregnancy. It turned out I was anemic! I laughed when you said the thing about “the best ice in town”. I had to visit my hospital a few times a week due to complications and always asked for a cup of ice. Their ice was the best I’ve ever had! lol!

    I have also heard that if you take a gold ring and rub it on your face and it leaves a black mark – you are low on iron.

    • Robin says:

      I find that even more hilarious cause i had to do the same after i had my daughter! Everytime i went in i got a cup of ice every single day i went in there to see my baby and i wpuld get the little. Cup fill a few times while i was there with my daughter and another one for the road. Haha and then i got smart and brought my own cup so i could get more. Lol. Needless to say you’re right hospi ice is the best ever! Ur next best ice can be found at AMPM or sams club. Haha ive done mu research amd its almost exactly if not the same ss the hospitals ice. So that mwans its not so harsh on ur teeth either. Its a win win. Lol

  7. barbara says:

    i craved starch (mainly potatoes) when i was PG with my now 24 yr old and my dr said i had PICA….i never ever related the ice to it (i’m a life long ice chewer!) i’ll have to ask my dr now about my iron levels

  8. Kerri says:

    I was anemic while pregnant with my first, and craved ice. It was a very hot summer though, so I naturally assumed that I was craving ice just to cool off.

    However, several years later I was found to be very anemic, but I didn’t crave ice at all. I had many medical tests. They were looking for cancer or possibly something like Crohn’s Disease. Once your iron levels drop to a certain level, they don’t worry about your diet or getting you on supplements, they wonder where the iron is going!

    Thankfully, I did not have any serious underlying disease. I went on a high dosage of supplements and I was able to finally build my levels up. Anemia isn’t usually that serious, but it can be a sign of something that is very wrong. So if you think you are anemic, get it checked out.

  9. krystal says:

    holy cow!! I just found out I am gestational anemic. I started getting the signs of anemia and didn’t even know it! or think about it! started with a infection on my back, then being tired all the time (thought that was just pregnancy stuff) then had to have all the ice I could get. now they have me on pills! thanks, this sight makes me not feel so different now. anemia, who would have thought?? THANKS!!!!

  10. ashely says:

    im 12 years old and i love ice, i dont know why 1 day i ate ice and becam addicted, i cant go 1 day with out eating at least 2 or three cups of ice!!!! my mother told me u can get anemic from eating ice, and i didnt believe her, soo when i searched it up on google this morining i found out that u can get anemic from eating ice, iim trying to stop but it is so hard to stop, im trying to!!!!!! today i made a pat to not eat ice today!!! and if i can do that i think i can made an accomplishmeant in my 12 years of life :razz:

    • brittney says:

      Eating the ice isn’t what cause’s you to be anemic.. The craving of ice is a sign your anemic and maybe you should have your mother take you to the doctor and have your iron levels checked. But let me say again eating the ice doesn’t make you anemic. But it is really bad on your teeth and you should try to stop and go to the doctor soon…

    • Jill Brooks says:

      Hi Ashely,
      Brittney is right, eating ice does not cause you to become anemic. A craving to eat ice is a sign that you are anemic. When your body needs something it will sometimes try to compensate for what it does not have in other ways. So it may be a self defeating battle for you to try to stop eating ice unless you know for sure if you are anemic. I think you should show you question and asnwers to your mother. I suspect she will probably want to take you to the doctor. If you are anemic and you get your anemia taken care of then it will not be so hard for you to stop eating ice! Right now you are setting yourself up for failure which will make you feel as if you are not trying hard enough when that is far from the truth! Good luck to you!

  11. angela says:

    I never thought about this connection… Thanks for posting this!

  12. Kathleen says:

    Ashley, you do not become anemic by eating to much ice. Cravings are a sign of your body lacking something. Ice cravings can be a symptom of anemia or low iron. You should be checked out by your doctor. I have been craving ice for about 7 months now and I bought a Vita mix and it is the bomb for crushing Ice. We call it snow balls. You need to becareful chewing ice I see alot of people that break teeth doing that. (I’m a Dental Hygienist)
    good luck
    Kathleen

  13. danny says:

    Im worried about my son he has had a strange sensation to touch dust he is irritable ,had a large growth spurt.tired and mean at times .Does anybody have the same signs

  14. @WisdomBegun Thats soulds like Pica– he may anemic. Does he crave ice too? http://budurl.com/7hvp

  15. Darlene says:

    I too was a “ice craver” for years, but after having a blood transfusion & 3 IV Iron transfusions recently, I am “cured” (for now.)
    The strange thing is that when my iron is at a normal level, I can’t stand the sight or the taste of ice!! Actually, ice doesn’t have a taste anymore, like before. My low iron level was below 1 last month and it’s been recently discovered that it’s due to my uterine fibroids, but I’m having a UFE in August 2009 and I can’t wait!!!
    Take Care All!!!

    • Karen says:

      I had the same situation as you. Four weeks ago I had a 4-pound uterine fibroid taken out.. they did a partial hysterectomy on me… and I feel completely different.

      I always loved to chew ice, too… sometimes 2 or 3 cups a day, and never understood why I liked it so much.. apparently, I was anemic. I was told I was somewhat anemic a few times throughout my life, but never made much of it.. I”m not a big red meat eater, either…

      Anyway, the fibroid thing really does cause anemia… and now? I could care less about the ice…

  16. jordyn says:

    I have always craved ice.
    And when I was little I use to have to take iron pills.
    But I eventually stopped taking them.
    And now 15 I find myself always popin the lid off drinks to eat the ice.
    And I hate meat I rarly eat it enfact if I don’t catch myself sometimes I won’t eat I just never feel hungry
    Im pretty tiny and do get tird a lot but as a typical teen I usually don’t go to bed till late and I party pretty hard (if yu know what I mean) so my immuin system is already weakend I guess my question is will this catch up w/ me and if so what could be the outcome?
    (Oh I tryd that gold ring thing and there was a faint black line)

  17. heidi says:

    i have bleeding ulcers & bleeds in my colon they were suppose to have been fixed in the hospital mts ago but i eat more ice now then before i dont know wht to do i have no $ or insurance i have lots of pain in my colon till guess ill just suffer im also very aniemic

  18. Laura says:

    I find this all so strange. I only recently began to crave ice and my family was very annoyed with the noise this made. Then, like most of you, I found out my iron levels had dropped dramatically in the past year due to heavy menstrual bleeding (fibroids, IUD and peri-menopause) Voila– a reason for my strange, new behavior. Thank you for spreading the word about this odd symptom. I am doing my part to let people know also so they can get treated asap.

  19. Feeling Tired? Craving Ice? You May be Anemic : Heart at Home http://bit.ly/28Imuh

  20. LLnL says:

    Great article. My doctor wanted to run a blood test on me but I did not know anything about anemia. I did not know where my sudden craving for aspirin and ice came from and now I wish I would have read this article months ago.

    Very informative, so happy I visited.

  21. Tonya says:

    Yes, that photo looks wonderfully delicious. I’m just learning of the low iron connection and will have to go have that checked. But, other than when I was pregnant, I never liked ice. And, the thought of someone chewing ice (and ruining their teeth) was horrifying. But now, look at me. I can’t walk past the freezer without loading up on a big cup of ice. I chew it like candy. And if I could get some fine ice, like snow, OH, what a thrill. I often think of going on a ski trip just to be around all that fresh snow. Yummy! There! I said it! I’m hooked on ice. Who woulda thunk it?

  22. @HomeGrownKids I sure now how that is. Did you read my post on anemia? Craving Ice? http://bit.ly/28Imuh

  23. Susan says:

    @heartofwisdom I did read your article, http://bit.ly/28Imuh but will pop over and read it again. :)

  24. Nancy says:

    I crave ice, get pasty white during my cycle and I am always tired. Extremely tired two weeks prior to mentrastration and during. I have had Iron Test after Iron test and according to my doctor they come back “fine”. There was one time I went to the ER for extreme side pain but they couldn’t find anything wrong except the DR. did make a comment that it appeared I had normalized acidic anemia. I have told my regular Dr. that but again, nothing. So I contine to eat and eat crushed ice, my mood changes always, I am tired, and can’t concentrate. Don’t know what else to do.

  25. Claire says:

    @ Tonya

    I totally get that! I confessed my craving for snow to my mother, and she bought me a little manual ice crusher! I was getting worried about my teeth with all this cracking and crunching…

    @ Nancy

    I’ve had this too. The blood test always seems to come back ‘just fine’ I’m wondering if its when they do the test? A thought I’d had was that my cycle can be very very heavy, so if they do the test just after, shouldnt it show something? I find the over-the-counter supplements make my digestive sytem a bit iffy. Do you like eggs? I resort to those during my cycle, for breakfast a few times a week, and it seems to help, like I can concentrate better and I’m not so exhausted.

    My mother finds my ice cravings hilarious. She bought me the mini grinder, and I’ll sit there with a bowl and spoon, happily munching away. With black hair, white skin and green eyes, we’d never really considered anemia, until my mother was pregnant with my brother, and had similar cravings. The Dr took one look at us both and was whipping out the prescription pad quicker than you can say haemoglobin!

  26. Chapped lips isn't always from the weather. You May be Anemic Craving ice too? Big red flag. http://ow.ly/16K3K

  27. missglo says:

    I know I am anemic, i know about all the risks. have been pescribed iron, i wont taking , i havent stopped eating ice, i dont know if i want to or can, i’m looking for a good snow type ice crusher, or none see through ice maker right now. Any suggestions.

  28. 3doxiemom says:

    such an interesting article! I started craving ice this past winter – now I eat 2 five pound bags a week! (NOT crushed, either!) I truly enjoy it! I’m 57, no longer menstruate, and when I read the words “Symptoms include: fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, irritability, dizziness, lightheadedness, poor concentration, restless legs, increased infections, chapped lips, and sometimes ice cravings”, I HAVE THEM ALL except the increased infections! Matter of fact, I had made an appt to see my Dr because of the rapid heartbeat, SOB, etc., thinking I might be having HEART problems!! Wow, this article hit it on the head. When I go to the appt, I will mention the anemia (I’m printing this article) and I betcha I AM !!! Thanks for the enlightenment!!!

  29. Mai says:

    I am so relieved to know that I am not alone. For almost a year now I have had insatiable cravings for ice and genuinely wanted to eat my laptop when the picture above come up. I chomp on ice all day, everyday, like my life depended on it. Crushed and shaved ice are the best and when there’s none around I’ll grab some ice cubes and a hammer and will make my own. I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia as a child and am the mother of a 13 year old, but these ice cravings are new territory for me. I have gotten so used to chomping on ice, that I think I’m addicted. Even when it’s freezing cold, I still want ice. I’m chomping on it now. Sonic ice is like manna from heaven to me!

    • carroline H. says:

      OMG – i do the same thing – at work i have access to the small ice cubes all day – so at least 3 to 4 cups during the day – i take one to eat while on way home. at home i have the big ice cubes – so yes i have gotten that hammer out and pound away i go – :) i’m eating a cup of ice right now :)

    • Angela says:

      what is it about Sonic ice?? I crave ice from Sonic specifically. Ice from other places don’t really satisfy the craving the way Sonic ice does. I started to get ice cravings during the last month of my pregnancy and they just haven’t stopped. My LO is 3 months old now.

      • admin says:

        You are anemic. No doubt. Go get your feritin checked.

  30. Mai says:

    Forgive me, I forgot my manners. Thank you, Robin and all the other bloggers. Hey Claire, where did your mom get the portable ice crusher? I’ve got a birthday coming up and that just landed the #1 spot on my birthday list!

  31. mary says:

    When i was pregnant back in 1999 i had the biggest ice craving ever..Just one thing before I go on,my whole life I have craved eating ajax,laundry detergent etc..I will sit there and just smell it forever cause I know I cant eat it.This has been since I was about four.I did get in big trouble when my dad caught me about to eat ajax.Anyways,my iron is very low and i am once again craving ice.It has to be the right ice which i can figure how find. I need the frost on it.omg im craving it so bad as we speak!!I have an enlarged uterus and have been constantly bleeding,awaiting an ultrasound.I recently had sergury for many polops and now this..I cant stay awake.my heart is racing and im getting really scared now..I have been taking multi vitamins as suggested by my doctor which is not helping the ice craving which is fine,i agree with one of the comments on here that it is like a drug addiction,your not sure you want it to go away..I just need the right ice!!I am a housekeeper and let me tell you the houses I love best,its the ones with the fridge that makes ice.I will take a big cup with me (ofcourse with permission..)If anyone know how to get the ice with the frost and has a taste please let me know:) :( Im not sure if I should be happy or sad with that request.. Good luck to all with your health and wish you the best, mary

  32. Cindy says:

    For about a month or so I have been craving ice. I don’t have ice trays in my freezer or an icemaker, so I was eating ice at the school where I work and then buying a drink on the way home so I could crunch on the ice. I halfway joked to my friends that maybe the ice craving had to do with my iron being low…maybe I was anemic. I have had a hysterectomy so I did not think I was anemic. I went to give blood a week ago and they turned me away because my hemoglobin was too low to donate. It was 11.4 but I can’t donate again until it is at least 12.5. I’ve been hitting the Flinstones chewables. I’ve never been turned down from giving blood for low iron!

  33. Effy says:

    can i just say i am anemic and i get craving but it dosnt just have to be ice that is the most biggest pile of rubbish iv ever heard in my life i laughed wheni saw it look at this picture if you wanna eat the ice then your anemic thats sooo not true i looked at it and didnt crave it yes maybe you do but it dose not mean every other person that has anemia craves it to for instance i crave dryed pasta and sniffing washing powder and i also at other times crave cheese not just ice iv never craved that and you stated that ( when you are anemic ) their is no when you are!! you are either anemic or you are not yes your blood level goes up and can improve when taking medication but it soon goes back down again and you have to start over its incurable its something you have for the rest of your life not just when it picks and chooses yes when you are pregnant you can lack iron and people may say you are anemic but that dose go away after birth as that is different and the only reason i am writing this is cause for people taht are reserching or have found out they are anemic and want details its for them so they are not falsly informed so if your going to make a website on a subject try looking it up more being anemic may not be as bad as people think but its still something we have to live with day in day out and its not something to be joked about like what you have done craving for ice my arse !!!!! Effy 18

    • April says:

      @Effy something is wrong with you if you sniffing laundry detergent – you need to get checked- we know you are not anemic – you’re special.

  34. Naomi says:

    What else do people crave? All I can find is ice…which i sometimes do. But what about eggs, raisins, olives, protien ( like meat )and things like that? I usually hate scrambled eggs and esp. raisins, but at times i find myself craving. Also dairy products.

  35. Cole Powell says:

    i had an ulcer last year because i am fond of skipping meals and working too hard. it was quite painful:`;

  36. Destiney says:

    Wow this Is Weird Like 2 years ago i went to get a checkup and all and they were like i had low iron and all of that, so they came up with a decison that i was anemic. I eat ice all the time like ALL THE TIME When I go to Mc’Donalds I just ask for a cup of Ice. I mean it’s soo good I Do Not like drinking water though, whats the deal with that? Anywho I don’t know if I’m still anemic but i loose alot of blood I have Nose Bleeds and I stayed on My Cycle for A month, and I came home from school at 5 and didnt wake up Until Like 12.. I think that has to do with me loosing so mch blood.

  37. kathy says:

    Thanks for the info. I’ve been having restless legs and rapid heartbeat lately.. I already know about the ice craving and have been anemic for years. The ice craving picked up really heavy lately, and then the restless legs started.. Makes sense now.. time to get out the spinach and start getting some more iron.

  38. Rosie Khan says:

    ulcer is quite painful and sometimes it is deadly too, my grandmother died from ulcer-`,

  39. ulcer is a very painful disease, i hate ulcer*`,

  40. Chelsea says:

    I have to say that the best ice is the the ice chips from the hospital!!!! Second would be AM/PM’s crunch ice!!!! I go through a big 40 oz Thermos mug a day when I’m craving ice. But lately its been Slurpee’s, but you can’t stir the ice you have to drink the liquid part out ASAP and then you have a big snowy clump in the middle, that’s the best!!!! I always thought that I craved ice and Slurpee’s because I grew up in the snow, but it turns out I do have low iron. However I was talking to a friend who was told by another friend (I know, hard to follow) that she actually ended up having Uterine Cancer and what triggered the test to look for that was the fact that she craves ice. Sooo my friend went to the Dr and had some more extensive tests done and it turns out that she also has Uterine Cancer and it is the kind of cancer that isn’t caught with a regular pap smear. So needless to say I put a call into my Dr to talk to her about this because another one of those symptoms is really heavy periods and for long periods. I just had a period that lasted 5 wks and this is extremely abnormal for me. I am usually like clock work…. every 21-24 days for 5-6 days starts slow than extreme heavy for 3 days and tapers off. Point being don’t just stop at Anemia please, research deeper if the iron supplements aren’t curing it.

    • Patty says:

      I work at the hospital, and I know for a fact that ice chips there are WONDERFUL! Before I had my last IV iron infusion, I was eating up to 17 small cups of ice a day! 17!!! After the infusion, I have no urge at all to eat ice. Unfortunately, whenever I start to crave ice, it usually means I am getting dangerously low–AGAIN. Sonic, and Circle K have the best ice too. :)

  41. Feeling Tired? Craving Ice? You May be Anemic : Heart at Home http://ow.ly/2UuHs

  42. believe me, ulcer is quite painful and its symptoms are not very good”,’

  43. bellinda says:

    Oh my…
    I’m so glad I found this site. Am making an appointment with my OB right now. I couldn’t understand the fatigue, chapped lips and ice-munching that has all taken place in a matter of weeks. I did however pass it off as one of the pregnancy symptoms but now I’m definitely going to get my iron levels checked out. Does anyone know if the ice-eating actually affects the baby though?
    Great article. Even better responses.

  44. Sankoff says:

    Hi\Hello I am having a problem seeing your posted comments on my Windows 7 machine.
    Just wanted you to know.
    Thanks

  45. Schreader says:

    Great blog. Will visit again. See you

  46. Chery says:

    Good post!
    Will revisit

  47. Charlene says:

    I recently discovered about 6 months ago after my kiddies birthday party the love for crushed ICE, who knew i was anemic..im def going to get it checked out…i cant stop eating ice. I just thought it was a craving but i find myself eating it in the morning noon and night…i love it crushed and i start eating bits of the frige if i dont have a bag of ice….def going to the doctor..thank you for this website I did not know

  48. Shanie says:

    I am anemic. I have very heavy, very long and painful periods. I eat ice nonstop. I eat ice so much that when I refill the tray I will stand at the freezer waiting for the ice to start forming so i can eat it right away. I wake up at 2am and eat ice. I take prescription iron tablets but nothing seems to work. I crunch at work, at home and at play.

  49. GINA says:

    I also anemic and yes I crave ice, but do any of you know of an iron supplement that does not constipate you sooo much?

  50. GINA says:

    Im anemic and yes I crave ice, but do any of you know of an iron supplement that does not constipate you sooo much?

  51. Pam says:

    I never liked ice or ice water till I started having hot flashes during and after peri menopause. I thought the hot flashes would quit when my periods did but they didn’t. I carried a big glass of ice around with me constantly the flashes were so bad. Now I am using Bio-Identical Hormone cream, the flashes are better, but the craving for ice continues! I’m also Hypothyroid and have had major sleep issues for years. I go for days with no sleep. I had a sleep study test that showed no REM at all. All I want is to get a good nights sleep and eat my ice

  52. lorraine says:

    i am getting a b-12 shot is that the same as iron.
    i get it every 3 weeks. for a wight loss . and now i do have the ice craving its bad … i did at one time have to get a 1000mg shot of iron because of being low i so depress at that time and did not know till i went in the hospital have test done that was back in the mid 1990s. but now i am getting the B 12 shot is that then same as getting iron in your system.. i dont not feel any better after getting the shot still tired no extra super energy after the shot i feel the same way tired …. i wake up like i never been to sleep at all

  53. Missyj says:

    Sonic has THE BEST ice in the world! That being said, I wish someone would do a study on what specifically is in ice that makes anemics not only crave it, but be able to differentiate “types” of ice and have favorites

  54. Heather says:

    Wow, good read. I am actually going to the DR today, since I have been eating boxes of pasta and tons of ice. I have been borderline anemic for months.

  55. Barbara says:

    I too crave ice – and I read and already knew where to get the best ice ever. Sonic Drive In has the soft ice. It’s easier on the teeth to chew and the taste {or lack of}is fantastic. Our local hospital serves the same type of ice on their floors and employee cafeteria. My daughter bought me these tiny little ice trays that make cubes in the shape of tiny pearls. Fabulous also! If you are an ice eater, eating the softer ice will protect your teeth more. I am not anemic, so don’t know why I crave ice. Any answers out there would be appreciated!

  56. karisah says:

    im 13 and i remember when i was 8 we had a big ice box. and when it would freeze i would scrap the sides for ice. my mom is also anemic so my dad usually drives us to sonic for ice. i read over every coment so far and i whant to share that once my dad stopped buying ice i went for 2 months without. and when it started coming in the house again i didn’t feel the need to have it i also had more energy and the symptoms went away. then i started eating it again and now the symptoms are back and my period was heavier and lasted longer and it only happens when i eat the ice i find the best way to stop was drinking alot of milk i am anemic but when i dont eat the ice im sad for a little but after i feel beter about everything i do and have the energy to do it.

  57. Betty says:

    Barbara, have you had your ferritin level checked? I usually wait until my hematocrit is low before getting an iron infusion. The last time I had an iron infusion my hematocrit was normal, but I knew something was wrong so I finally got on line and researched. I found I needed to get my ferritin level checked. It was super low so I got the infusion and of course the ice craving is gone. I had been craving the ice for several years, just waiting for my hematocrit to go down so I could have the infusion. It’s weird how it is like a drug addiction. You spend all your time thinking about making sure you will have your Sonic ice.

  58. jeffro says:

    Wow!!!! I have been totaly hooked on ice for about a month now. I mean I can tell who has the best ice in town. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I have almost all of the other symptoms also, and have thought my feeling tired and lightheaded, and my heart pounding so hard I can hear the blood pumping through my ears, was a heart problem or something. I have really been concerned because I have been feeling very badly. But no that I hesr about the ice thing, I am relieved. I know it is still serious, but thanks to this site for sharing this thing.

  59. AyeJae says:

    I’m hiding in my SUV right now eating Sonic’s ice in a route 44 cup. It’s almost midnight. Pretty pathetic huh?

  60. Staci says:

    When I was pregnant with my daughter I craved bacon, now all I eat is ice my fiance and I probably pay $20 a month on bags of ice, the ones you get from the gas station. But I do agree hospitals have the best ice ever:). When my daughter had a doc.apt. they checked her iron and my iron and my iron is lower than hers and she is only 2 years old im 20. how could this be and they asked if we craved ice and they said this was the reason why. I dont find any of this funny anymore I seriously think its becoming a problem because in my day I eat alot of foods that have iron in them so I still dont know why Im craving ice and have low iron.

  61. Ice Crusher says:

    @Heidi above: You might need to have your colon checked. On a medical website, I read that anemia (and ice chewing) can be a secondary problem caused by bleeding ulcers or cancer in the colon.

  62. breanne says:

    Wow,…think I should jus say ‘ditto’ to all these comments!! Noticed a few mths. ago I always had a ‘to go cup’ of ice w/me,..and the pas few weeks im eating ice like 24/7(agreed…sonic is the best and they sell it by the bag:)so,..along w/being tired/feelin ADD quite often (blahhh) im making an appointment for bloodwork today.thanks everyone for the much needed info!!

  63. Brianna says:

    I use to go around town to different Tim Hortons stores to see where my favourite shape of ice was…And then i discovered Mcdonalds ice. i get a large cup twice a day, before work, and after. i go out of my way to make sure that i get it, and whenever i order at the same stores the employees look at me like i am nuts! i had absolutely no idea there was actually and issue witht his. i am 22 and have been fighting with anemia for over 6 years now and have been chewing and loving ice since day one. the crunching of the ice drives my mom nuts so i have to leave the room if i want to continue to chomp away. I laughed out loud reading this message and im happy to know I am not alone.
    mmmmm just talking about it is making my mouth water.

  64. Brianna says:

    in addition, i have abnormally long periods sometimes lasting 3 months and very heavy, i have had several day surgeries and been on over a dozen birth control pills…been to an OBGYN and family doctor but for some reason they still want to keep putting me on pills that dont ever seem to work…any suggestions?

  65. Angela says:

    So, I am happily chewing ice while reading this, lol. I craved ice with both my pregnancies, and have been back at it for a bit now. Sonic is great, I get ice by the bag from there. When I run out I pull out my Ninja and crush away, I’ll eat it right out of the blender!!!

  66. Sydney says:

    This is very interesting. I have aplastic anemia, and I’ve experienced nearly all of the symptoms listed! That just shows you, I am anemic!
    Thank you for posting that.
    It explains a lot! Haha.
    Good day. (:

  67. I’ll right away grab your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  68. Sharon says:

    Whenever I was in high school I used to pass out for no apparent reason, yep just sitting at my desk and would start to get lightheaded and then black out! The school nurse told me that she thought my iron was low and I needed to eat more red meats. However my mom never took me to the dr or anything and as a grew up I guess I just delt with it, and it was part of my life. However now as an adult ,42yrs old, I have had many issues with depression. So about ago I started craving ice like it was candy and found my energy level plum it to an all time low. On top of that my heart would beat so hard on occasion I thought I was having a heart attack. In my mind I excused all of these symptoms as my depression just getting worse. Finally I couldn’t take it any more and went to the doctor. He did blood work, changed my anti depressants. But I just go a call from him to say I was severely anemic and that I am going to have to take 700mg of iron per day! Holy cow!

  69. tammy says:

    I eat a bag of ice every day I don’t know whats wrong I haven’t no insurance to go to the doctor i have had people tell me my iron is low don’t know.

  70. Bonnie says:

    I’ve been craving not ice, but ice cold things like slurpees, popcicles, smoothies from wawa, and pretty much anything frozen. All day everyday all I want is an ice cold frozen drink. Could this be the same thing?

  71. Marie says:

    I’m the same way, so glad for all of you to give me advice. I have become a ice addict for about 3 weeks. It’s like a addiction..I am so tired that if I didn’t have kids I would sleep all day! my husband just thinks I’m lazy but I know that’s not it. Please help

  72. tesh says:

    a spoonful of molasses may help its an iron rich food

  73. Evelyn says:

    I go through a 10 lb bag of ice every other day. My Dr. had me checked for gastro bleeding some years ago but there was none. I am constantly tired and take iron supplements but still have the same symptoms. Very irritable. Wondering if there could be something else.

  74. Nicolas buenafe says:

    Hi i always love chommping ice i love the crunchy sound yes i have problem in anemia but nerver knows about ice craving is one syntoms i have ESRD that why im thinking its only natural for ESRD patient chommping ice all the time i never thought its a serious one my doctor dont tell m that

  75. Aubrey says:

    My mothernlaws eats about 6 cups a day…says she has to have it she craves it she’s says more than smoking…we know shes anemic but we are having a hard time finding iron pills that wont stop her up as she already deals with this due to other medication …..does anyone know if an iron pill that’s dosnt cause severe constipation?… thank you

  76. Casandra says:

    Oh my. I was laying here thinking why do i have a cup of ice and a bottle of soda right by it and didn’t even poor the soda in the glass. Then realized i eaten all the ice. Then it hir me something was wrong. So i thought im going to look up “Why do i crave Ice” . I have been diagnosed of anemic all my life. But never put ice and low iron together. And never had a doctor ask me if i crave ice. Now i know. Thanks for goggle! I will speak to my doctor and see what we can do. Maybe bump up the dose of iron pills if that will help. :)

  77. meshia says:

    I crave ice a lot and I eat Up to 4 or 5 cups a day I also crave white dirt which is chalk and eat a bag of it every other day . im always tired and im always cold . but idk if im anemic for sure . HELP ME !!

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