Diet and Nutrition

Ice Cravings Associated with Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease : Ice and Pica

Ice and Pica

Craving ice is a variant of pica, an eating disorder which is defined as craving and eating non-food items. This can include dirt, glue, hair, and many unusual substances. While this is normally seen in very young children, it can occur in adults who have certain diseases similar to celiac. This specific type of craving is called pagophagia and is associated with pregnancy, and more commonly, low levels of iron. It is unsure why this occurs during times of low levels of iron, but one study suggests that ice may relieve certain symptoms of iron deficiency,  specifically glossitis, which is the inflammation of the tongue. Researchers found that ice can taste better to people with iron deficiency. This is the common link between ice cravings and celiac disease.