Very nice people on this site!
I have info about some
causes of ice chewing/eating compulsions, in my website, on webpage 5 (in the gastric reflux sections, on webpage 5, at this link, http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com/page5.html
). I copied & pasted part of this info, below:
Compulsive ice chewing/eating is called Pagophagia, and is one type of "pica" (compulsive eating of non-foods, or ice). As many here now know, pagophagia can be caused by an iron deficiency anemia, which can be caused by at least one or more of the following: poor diet, mal-absorption of iron (due to using acid blockers &/or having gluten sensitivity, etc.), internal bleeding, excessive bleeding during menstruation, etc., pregnancy, various medical conditions, worms, etc.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, most oats, etc. If a person is "sensitive" to gluten, then eating gluten can cause damage to the small intestine, and this can cause "mal-absorption" (not enough absorption) of iron, calcium, etc., in the small intestine. This can cause IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA. See above, for other causes of anemia.
One type of gluten sensitivity is called CELIAC DISEASE. However, recently it has been found that most gluten-sensitive people have non-Celiac types of gluten sensitivity, but still can have intestinal damage ("sub-microscopic" damage, not able to be seen, even under a microscope, when looking at a biopsy sample).
Read about "EnteroLab" non-invasive stool testing, that helps people find out if they have a gluten sensitivity or not. See Dr. Kenneth Fine's (gastro doc) website, at www.finerhealth.com
Some people have a "sensitivity" to milk proteins, and when these people eat milk proteins (in milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.), they too can have damage done to their small intestine from an "auto-immune" attack on their own small intestine, resulting in "mal-absorption", leading to iron deficiency anemia, leading to pagophagia (compulsion to eat/chew ice).
"EnteroLab" does non-invasive stool sample testing for possible milk protein sensitivity, too (can be done on same sample that's being tested for gluten sensitivity).
Pagophagia may also sometimes be related to eating disorders (like anorexia or bulimia, etc.) &/or related to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorders).
Some OCD can be caused as a result of STREP (streptococcus) infections, where an "auto immune reaction" to the strep bacteria, causes an auto-immune attack (including swelling) on a certain section of the brain ("basal ganglia"), causing obsessive compulsive problems, sometimes including ice chewing/eating. This type of OCD is called PANDAS. PANDAS stands for P
ssociated with S
One treatment for PANDAS, may be IVIG (Intra-Venous Immune Globulin), which has helped some obsessive compulsive people, whose OCD was caused by reactions to strep bacteria.
Teeth can crack &/or voice problems in singers may result from this ice chewing/eating habit. Some foods are naturally rich in iron. Eating such foods, if iron deficient anemic, can prevent constipation and stomach problems that some iron supplements cause. Please see gastric reflux tips, on webpage 10 of my website. See http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com/page10.html
For those who would like to try eating gluten-free, but feel like they must have "pasta", there's some good news: A Canadian company makes delicious brown rice pastas of every type, that tastes just like glutenous wheat pasta, but are gluten-free (rice is gluten-free). The brand name of these gluten-free pastas, is "Tinkyada", and it's found in good health food stores, and even in some supermarkets now.
I have some "tips" on eating gluten-free (and not feeling deprived), with links to other helpful websites where people have been there, done that (eating gluten-free). See Appendix E (gluten-free tips) on webpage 10 of my website, at this link:http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com/page10.hmtl
I hope this helps some, who would like to conquer their ice eating/chewing, habit/addiction/compulsion, called pagophagia.