What Are Some Possible Medical Reasons for Ice Chewing?

What Are Some Possible Medical Reasons for Ice Chewing?

Some possible medical reasons for ice chewing include iron deficiency anemia and calcium deficiency, as reported by the National Institutes of Health. Emotional issues including developmental disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or stress are also possible reasons for ice chewing, according to Mayo Clinic.

Chewing ice is a form of pica, or a craving for nonfood items, known as pagophagia, explains Mayo Clinic. According to some research, patients who suffer from iron deficiency anemia may chew ice to increase their alertness. Patients of pagophagia often respond to treatment of iron or calcium deficiency, while others may respond to behavioral treatments such as reinforcement and counseling, according to the National Institutes of Health.