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Old 02-03-2008, 08:29 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Barbara L View Post
I think there are really a lot of reasons we crave foods. Sometimes it is a deficiency, sometimes we see or smell something that makes us want a particular food, sometimes a memory of something you did a long time ago will trigger a food craving.

I have always liked to chew ice (small pieces--my aunt broke her tooth on a big piece). One day at work I got my big cup of ice, as I did every day. Someone saw me with it and asked, "Do you have an iron deficiency?" I responded that I did, as a matter of fact, have an iron deficiency. She told me that is a sign of that. That has been confirmed by several things I have read. The doctor told me to start taking iron because of my anemia, and my ice cravings went away. I ran out of iron and recently noticed that I have been wanting ice. Shortly after, I noticed that when I prick my finger to test my blood glucose level, the blood is watery, so I knew the anemia was back. The part I don't understand though is, why ice? Why not water? Ice is just frozen water. Is there a lot of iron in ice? And if there is, wouldn't there be the same amount in water? All I can think of is that it is the chewing more than anything you are actually getting from the water. Strange.

Barbara
Be thankful you aren't craving dirt or paint chips! Those two, along with ice, are common cravings when one is anemic!!!
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:31 PM   #22
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Be thankful you aren't craving dirt or paint chips! Those two, along with ice, are common cravings when one is anemic!!!
Sorry, but this is just absolutely untrue. I've spent the best part of the last 20 years borderline anemic or seriously anemic. Last year, I had probably 6 blood transfusions because my iron level was as low as 2. I had no cravings except for the high-fiber comfort foods that I wasn't, and still am not, able to eat because of a partial intestinal blockage. I used to chew ice, but it was just a bad habit. When my dentist told me a tooth had a hairline fracture and eating really hard foods could crack it, I quit eating ice. Simple as that.

Right now, according to my doctor, my blood level of vitamin D is "undetectable." Do you think I'm craving sunlight or milk? Not particularly. I still want a plate of potato skins with bacon, cheese and sour cream, but I can't have it or I might end up having emergency surgery. I haven't had a steak in years - can't digest it properly. The only time I want one is when one of my neighbors, or DH, is grilling one and I can smell it.

To repeat something I quoted before, since people don't seem to have read it:

From LOL Causes of Cravings:

Some people believe that they can sense needed nutrients in foods, so they naturally develop a craving for that food. Although our senses can detect salt and sugar in our foods, we cannot taste or smell the proteins, carbohydrates, fats or vitamins. This limits special cravings to salt and sugar.

Just yesterday, I was talking with my mom about how most people don't really understand science, so they often want to believe something that seems to make sense, but for which there is little or no evidence (and one person's experience is not evidence).

We've evolved to make patterns and judgments out of information we receive, whether or not that info is complete or accurate, so it's not surprising that people like to believe they have some special power to detect vitamins in food, but unless someone can show me something scientific, from a government or higher-education source, that proves it, I'll have to say it's an unproven idea at this point.
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:50 PM   #23
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Just because one person is convinced of the facts of something they have read, does not make it a scientific fact.
Craving and chewing ice: A sign of anemia? - MayoClinic.com
I would think IMO that the Mayo clinic is a good source if any
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:56 PM   #24
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Just because one person is convinced of the facts of something they have read, does not make it a scientific fact.
Thanks for making a point I have been trying to make on lots of similar topics here

I do try to find scientific evidence before forming my opinion, though. Not everyone does.

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Craving and chewing ice: A sign of anemia? - MayoClinic.com
I would think IMO that the Mayo clinic is a good source if any
And thanks for that. Notice it says "Possibly," and lists other causes of pica, including "stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder or a developmental disorder." So I wouldn't say eating ice is a diagnostic indicator of anemia.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:02 PM   #25
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Correct, but, if you read Angies post, it says it is common cravings of anemia, not that anemia is the sole reason behind the craving.


I love getting all the feedback. It's interesting to see what everyones beliefs are for things like this.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:37 PM   #26
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Even though I seem to like to chew on ice more when my iron is low, it has never been an overpowering thing--I can do without it. And when my iron levels are normal, and I have a drink with ice in it, I still chew on the ice.

My aunt used to eat the plaster from the walls and the doctor said she was deficient in something (pica or something).

I think deficiencies and cravings are different for everyone. Some cravings might have nothing to do with a deficiency, and some deficiencies don't result in cravings. And rarely is something "always" true or "never" true. There is usually a middle-ground.

Barbara
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:53 PM   #27
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Other than the medical serious cravings as posted above (my brother used to lick ashtrays and clean the woodwork with his tongue) I think most benign cravings are because that is what we want to eat. I am not a doctor or science person just offering my opinion.
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:43 PM   #28
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Sometimes I just know I need to eat a particular food - like spinach say. Don't know why but I follow what I'm feeling. Sometimes maybe fish, don't eat much red meat but sometimes that also, or a good sharp cheese. I don't think "cravings" for junk food are legit unless one is pregnant and I wouldn't have a clue about that. :)
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:52 PM   #29
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Pregnancy cravings reminded me of something else. A lot of times pregnant women cannot eat something they are able to eat when not pregnant. I couldn't eat ground beef from a particular store when I was pregnant. Even though it was what we always ate, it made me sick to even smell it cooking when I was pregnant! Yet I could eat similar ground beef from any other store. I didn't have any cravings when I was pregnant though.

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Old 02-04-2008, 01:35 AM   #30
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I wonder if this is more related to subconscious memories and we interpret them as cravings?
For instance, growing up we had a food program at school that used the food pyramid (the one they had 15 years ago, not the new one) to provide us balanced meals. Later after heading out on my own I didn't eat nearly as nutritious as then. So when I get a craving maybe it is not my body knowing it needs a certain thing, but my subconscious memory telling me it liked the way I felt when I ate better...
Just a though, nothing to back that up with, sorry ;)
I would also remind us that science is not infallible. It is the best they have at that time. As more information and more studies are conducted, the excepted explanation or norms can change.
Take the food pyramid for example...was the old one just plain wrong? Nope, they just have a better understand of things today so it needed to be changed to reflect this.
So maybe right now, the understanding they have is that there is no clear link between cravings and deficiencies, but who knows that may change down the road.
Grandmas say Chicken Soup for colds, science says no relationship (last I checked), maybe 20 years from now they will find a link and vindicate the Grandmas?
Personal observations shouldn't just be dismissed just because 'although they fit the facts they have no scientific evidence to back them up'.
To me they are just theorems and as good as any, until the scientists get around to either disproving them or moving them up to actual theories and beyond.
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