Side Effects of Eating Ice: Adverse Health Effect of Eating Ice Cubes

People may not know this, but eating ice is actually not as harmless as you think it is. There are a number of things that can happen to you when you eat ice, and these include the wearing away of your teeth enamel and the creation of minute cracks in your teeth, which might progress into bigger cracks and more serious tooth damage if you continue doing this. This usually happens when you chew ice cubes or even crushed ice, as long as you chew them like you would peanuts or popcorn.

Other side effects of eating ice include the possibility of chipping your tooth when you bite into a rather solid chunk of ice or even choking accidentally on an ice cube.

Why Do Some People Munch on Ice?

Some people chew on ice simply because they like the feeling of crunching something cold in their mouth. Others chew on ice simply because they like the sudden cold feeling that takes over the warmth that is in their mouths. Some people who find that they crave ice however do not know that there are some serious things associated with the eating of ice and the side effects of eating ice often pales in comparison with some of the reasons why a person feels the need to chew on ice.

Side Effects of Eating Ice

While the side effects of eating ice may seem negligible or avoidable if you are careful enough, there are some things that you need to know about habitual ice munching or ice eating. The cravings you get to eat ice is actually a possible indicator of an ailment that can be pretty serious and this is iron-deficiency anemia. This is especially true with women who munch on ice compulsively. As some doctors have noticed, some of the patients who told them of this ice eating habit also showed a somewhat low hemoglobin count after a blood count was performed. This kind of a problem is called pagophagia or the habit of compulsively eating ice which also indicates a possible problem with anemia or lack of iron in the blood.

17 Comments

  1. C M said:

    I love ice more than soda. I drink tea also but, I notice my period is longer now so .I am going try to go back to drinking juice n taking iron like you all are saying. Ice just makes my skin clear n acid reflux better.

    January 30, 2011
    Reply
  2. Julliette said:

    Now I understand why I always feel dizzy. In fact, I have been eating ice cubes every day of my life for a long time. I really will have to put a stop to it before the unexpected happens. Thanks for the information.

    January 10, 2012
    Reply
  3. MR said:

    I have a white blood cell disorder called ALPHA 1-ANTYTRIPSIN deficiency.
    In this disorder the white blood cell do not multiply, and every week for the past 7 yrs I have been going to the oncology center for a ZAMEIRA infusion, its the cells that fight infections and keep up your immune system. The disease is inherited. Out of 5 kids my little sister and I were lucky enough to live. With steroids and all kinds of medicines it’s treatable but there is no permanent cure. When we catch colds it’s really serious. My little sister caught cold in 2010 and it turned into pneumonia. Within 3 to 4 days she passed away. Previously I wasn’t afraid of death but now I am afraid of dying. It can be because of what happen to my little sister. The reason I wrote this was because I chew lot of ice and I get lot of headaches could it be from chewing ice?

    May 27, 2012
    Reply
  4. MARY said:

    I cannot stop eating ice. Is there any way to stop the desire.

    June 4, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Check for blood hemoglobin level. Sometimes such abnormal desire to eat ice and other substances not fit for food can be an indicator for iron deficiency anemia.

      June 5, 2012
      Reply
  5. Lexis Bill said:

    I have been feeling dizzy and I am having chest is pain. Is it due to eating ice blocks? I have been doing so since few months.

    September 16, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Feeling dizzy and having chest pain is not a good sign. You should consult your physician. He may recommend you to check blood tests, and various other profiles to find if there is any abnormality. Eating ice block is an abnormal craving. Find the reason for it and try to avoid it.

      September 17, 2012
      Reply
  6. Courtney said:

    I love eating ice. But I do not have any side effects. My periods have been extremely long for the past couple of months. Does it have anything related to eating ice?

    October 20, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Check for your hemoglobin. Since you are having excessive blood flow, risk of low hemoglobin cannot be ruled out. People having low hemoglobin are known to eat chalk, mud etc. Many people may also eat ice.

      October 22, 2012
      Reply
  7. Angelina said:

    I have been eating ice and putting it in my drinks for about a week now. My throat is feeling like it’s closed up a bit and it is very hard to swallow. I am feeling dizzy and have fever all of a sudden. What should I do?

    November 18, 2012
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      These symptoms seem to be of pharyngitis. In simple words it is inflammation in throat. If that is so, stop eating and drinking cold drinks, cold food etc. You may need antibiotics and anti inflammatory medicine. Consult your doctor for that. Meanwhile regularly do salt water gargling two to three times in a day.

      November 18, 2012
      Reply
  8. EM said:

    I am 14 years old. I have ice cravings. Should I be concerned about this? Can I have anemia?

    December 15, 2012
    Reply
  9. PR said:

    I’ve been craving and eating ice for the past 6 years. I have not experienced any of the wide effects mentioned above. But I am worried and I’d rather be safe than sorry so how do I get rid of this ice chewing habit?

    January 5, 2015
    Reply
    • PUP said:

      Check your hemoglobin level and total iron binding capacity by doing a simple blood test. In most cases iron deficiency anemia is responsible for abnormal chewing of ice. If you are found to be anemic, eat foods that are rich source of iron such as green leafy vegetables, spinach, lean meat, fish, eggs etc.

      January 6, 2015
      Reply
  10. Harmel said:

    Anemia was discovered after friends noticed my compulsion to suck ice cubes. Now I am on iron supplements which help but they need to be taken daily for the rest of my life I am told. There is Bleeding from ‘spider veins’ in gastro-colonic system. I am concerned about whether taking in so much ice, sucking ice cubes, is known to have any adverse affects on the stomach.

    March 6, 2017
    Reply

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