This Extremely Weird Craving Could Be A Sign That You Are Iron Deficient
When something isn't right, the body will try to get your attention in any way that it can!
The extremely weird craving caused by iron deficiency
If you find yourself suddenly craving non-food substances like clay, dirt, chalk, ice or paper... you might find yourself questioning your sanity.
... But before you call the psych, you should get your blood iron levels tested first.
This kind of weird craving for substances which have practically zero nutritional value is called 'pica', after the latin word for the I'll-eat-anything magpie. Many in the medical community suspect that pica is the body’s attempt to get vitamins or minerals that are missing through normal food consumption. Such as, of course, iron.
Not experiencing pica? You're not quite off the hook yet. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in America, so you may still need to be cautious.
Here are some other indicators that you may be iron deficient:
Pay Attention To The Signs
- You're always exhausted. It's hard to know the difference between "normal" tired and "abnormal" tired in this busy world, but if you're constantly tired despite regular sleep, and are also irritable, weak and unable to focus, iron deficiency could be the culprit.
- You're pale and 'sickly'. If you're a naturally pale person, check the insides of your lips, gums and lower eyelids. If they are less red than usual, you could be low in iron.
- You have heavy periods. Women are more prone to iron deficiency as they lose iron-rich blood via menstruation every month. Women who experience particularly heavy periods are more at risk.
- Your heart is racing, and you feel anxious. Low iron levels can exacerbate existing heart conditions, and low iron levels can overstimulate your body's sympathetic nervous system.
- You're extra fidgety. While they won't cause them, low iron levels can exacerbate conditions like Restless Leg Syndrome.
- You're getting lots of headaches. Low iron levels cause the brain to swell, resulting in nasty headaches.
If you suddenly start munching on pages of your books, or notice any of the other symptoms listed above, you should visit your medical professional for further advice as soon as you can.