Why Can’t I Stop Eating Ice?
There are quite a few people out there that just can’t seem to stop eating ice. In fact, for some, it turns into a compulsive behavior that they just can’t get rid of. Their ice maker seems to be running overtime (Okay, ours does as well, that’s part of the reason why we started this blog). But why is that though? And is it really as harmless as it looks?
Why Do I Love Eating Ice?
Many people love eating ice. It has many different functions (some even go as far as to say ice can help you lose weight).
In addition, it’s a great way to cool yourself down and quench your thirst on a hot summer day (yes, ice does hydrate you!). It’s pretty harmless too if you do it in moderation.
However, it can become a problem if it turns into a compulsive trait. If you’re literally craving ice all the time, it could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or an eating disorder. In addition, it can have a pretty negative effect on your teeth as well.
Chewing solid ice cubes can damage your teeth by wearing down the protective layer of tooth enamel. This will expose the nerves in your teeth, causing sensitivity when drinking and eating low or high-temperature foods.
One of the main causes of excessive ice craving is iron deficiency. This is when your blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. For people with iron deficiency, chewing ice can trigger an effect that sends more blood up to the brain.
Another cause is called Pica. Pica is an eating disorder that involves eating items that are not typically thought of as food and that do not contain significant nutritional value, such as hair, dirt, and paint chips. If you love to eat ice from time to time, there’s no cause for alarm, you’re probably fine. However, if you notice that it has become a compulsive trait, then it’s definitely worth looking into.
Is There An Addiction To Eating Ice?
Yes, there is definitely an addiction to eating ice. This is called “Pagophagia”. As discussed, the main causes for pagophagia are iron deficiency and pica, however, emotional issues such as stress can also lead to compulsive ice eating.
The most common symptoms of pagophagia are:
- Fatigue, weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness
- Pale skin
- Chest pains, a rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath
- A swollen or sore tongue
- Loss in appetite
If your cravings are caused by low iron deficiency, the symptoms might be relieved by taking iron supplements. However, you should always check with your doctor first, as it can be damaging to the body when you take iron supplements when they’re not needed.
Meditation and spirituality can also help if you’re cravings are caused by emotional issues such as stress.
Another option is to switch to eating nugget ice. Due to the soft and chewy texture of nugget ice, it isn’t damaging to your teeth.
In addition, there are a lot of cool pebble ice makers that let you produce loads of nugget ice at the press of a button and come with all kinds of bells and whistles. Although compulsive behavior is never good, at least with nugget ice, you aren’t damaging your teeth!
So, as we found out, ice chewing is a pretty common thing. Many people just can’t stop eating ice. However, when it turns into a compulsive trait, it’s time to take action!