Iron and Ice

Have you ever had the urge to chew ice? At times I used to crave it. I couldn’t wait to get myself a cold drink so I could fill the glass with ice. I guzzled down the water, tea or whatever I was drinking and then spent the next glorious minutes chewing up all the ice. My sister and brothers would complain to my mom. “Mom, Susan’s crunching ice again and we can’t hear the TV.” It’s not my fault that we were all huddled together in close proximity to our 19 inch black and white television set so we could see it.


I didn’t know why but I went through that annoying ice-crunching phase for a while and then other times I couldn’t have cared less about chewing ice.

Years later when I was married with kids we would watch TV (a much larger one than the 19”) and again I would go through times that I would crunch on ice like nobody’s business. Now my husband and kids were asking me to stop crunching or go in another room.I have to admit that when I was crunching away, I couldn’t even hear the TV!!! I guess my ice crunching was annoying to others but I just couldn’t stop.

Do you know that later my hematologist/oncologist told me that anemia causes some people to chew on ice? After she told me that I researched it further online. If you go to and search anemia and ice craving you will find articles about it. Or just google it and other sources will pop up as well.

As far back as I can remember I was anemic. When I was a little girl my pediatrician prescribed a large bottle of iron supplements for me to take four times a year. I guess when I was taking the supplements the urge to chew ice went away. So…if there’s someone sitting near you crunching on ice, you might want to suggest they see a doctor about some blood work. They may be iron deficient.

I’m happy to say that I haven’t chewed on ice for several years now.