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Are weird cravings sign of possible mineral deficiency?
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Are weird cravings sign of possible mineral deficiency?

I have a strange question about something that happens to me quite often.  Whenever I pass a construction site, am exposed to airborne concrete dust, or smell certain kinds of damp metal, I begin having the most overpowering cravings, chewing (sometimes hard) at the insides of my cheeks, or compulsively biting the sides of my tongue.

I spent 5 years (94-99) as a strict vegetarian / vegan, and have been eating mostly Lacto/Ovo with some poultry and seafood since 1998.  I have been anemic my whole life.

Could this strong, bizarre craving have something to do with my mineral deficiency, and can anyone suggest a possible regimen that may help it?  Thank you very much...
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There is a condition called PICA where one has strong cravings for non-food items such as dirt, clay, rust, chalk, paint chips...

Some experts think it may be related to a specific mineral deficiency such as Zinc, Iron, Magnesium....

Don't know if that's what's going on with you, but you did mention you're anemic.  Perhaps mention this to your doctor.  

P.S. NEVER take iron supplements--or others without your doctor's approval (especially iron!).  

Best of luck

Mike
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I've been looking for a site to explain the same cravings you are having   - I myself have been a strict veg 5yrs ago - anemic - now just eat healthy without meat/pasta accept chx/fish/shellfish - I walk in a ceramic pottery warehouse and go nuts -  I eat this natural gum 5-8 times a day called peelu dental gum - it gives me that hint taste of cement. The explaination of mineral def makes sense - I'm surprised I did not figure that out myself - since I read up on homepathic/herbs/def and advise others and not focus on healing myself - I will give the minerals a try and advise in a month.

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I experienced these cravings of clay, dirt, chalk and other simular things as a child.  Although I have always been aware of the strong attraction to the smell of wet clay or wet concrete after a rain, I have not experienced the strong cravings from my childhood until this last month.  The funny thing is, although I do not eat a lot of meat, I do eat meat, I am not pregnate, nor am I low in iron.  I have been taking vitamins pretty regularly but I think I'll keep a closer watch on the cravings when I take calcium.... I'm at a loss.  I can say that I have not been very hungry lately but crave ice like crazy!  How can we figure out what is causing this?
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I've actually been eating mud and dirt since I was about 10. Grew up that way my whole life, never could stop.

Just kidding~.

For the anemic lady, I would advocate that you ask that your copper level be checked (Plays just as big of a role w/ anemia as iron-unfortunately, it is rarely looked into) and ask your physician about the merits of adding B12, Folic Acid and B6 to your diet.

Knowing where your copper level is sitting is HUGE-more than you would ever know, as a matter of fact. If he/she would ever agree to run this test for you, remind him/her they must take into account that of the two genetic disorders that can go along with distortions to copper serum.

As for why anyone would want to eat dirt or clay, etc, I wouldn't begin to know what that would ever be about.
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Oh my gosh,I am so glad I found this site, I thought I was going crazy, I want to eat fresh laid asphalt, anything at a construction site, drink bleach and gasoline, and anything with a strong smell, I also want to eat my sons sidewalk chalk when we are outside,  not to mention wanting to crab ahandful of dirt and shoving it in my mouth, these cravings are overpowering Iwill salivate when we pass construction sites......
HELP
D
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Hi my name is Andi, I am an 18 year old female and I have a serious concerns about my latest food-related (or lack there of) cravings. For the past 2to3 months I have the strongest urges to eat clay, chalk or sand .  I’ve even gone as far as licking the vents in my house as compensation.  As far as I know I am on the healthier side, my weight is on the lighter side for my height but I am still normal. I have no idea what to do every time I go to the beach  or pass a construction site I seem to find myself salivating  at the smells. Once even (when no one was looking) pouring handfuls of sand into my mouth hoping to get rid of the craving. I don’t know what’s wrong with me I’m hoping  writhing this e-mail to u will help me. Please respond in urgency.  Thank you.
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I have the strongest urge all the time to smell gasoline.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  It is driving me crazy I want to smell it all the time.  I want to taste sooo bad but I know that it would prob. kill me.  We have a gas can in our garage and everytime I walk past the garage my mouth begins to water.  I am anemic also and drink diet pop alot.  I like other chemical smells also like old car fumes, dirtbike and atv fumes, some paints, some markers, etc. Does anyone have a clue what causes this?  I am at my witts end because I am a smoker and sniffing gas is very bad for me.  I DO NOT want to get high from it, I just crave the smell so bad.
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I am having the same problem... craving the smell of gasoline, asphalt and exhaust fumes... but mainly gasoline.  I also am not wanting to get high from it, but just want to inhale the smell... I have told my husband about this and he just kind of laughs at me... but it is kind of scary... why all of the sudden is this happening?  I am not a junky... I am a normal, functioning person!
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If you crave smells like gas, asphalt, exhaust, PineSol, Vicks, bleach, ceramics, or if you want to EAT ice, dirt, clay or other similar things, YOU PROBABLY HAVE IRON DEFICIENCY. These symptoms are called PICA. Pica is found most often in pregnant women and children who are anemic but pica can sometimes happen in healthy non-pregnant women and men. Even mild iron deficiency can cause pica. Go to your doctor to get tested. Tell him you think you have pica and anemia, and ask for anemia testing. He/she test your blood for iron, ferritin, MCV, MCHC, RDW, RBC, Hematocrit, and Hemoglobin. Your doctor may do tests to see whether blood loss is the cause of your anemia, for instance, bleeding from stomach ulcers, excessive menstrual bleeding or from donating blood. You should let him/her know if you are vegetarian, do not eat red meat, or are an endurance athlete (these increase your risk of anemia). If you are indeed iron deficient, once you start taking an iron supplement, your pica symptoms will disappear in 10 days - 2 weeks.
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Boy, that is an interesting question. I think jh1234 is going in the right direction to suggest iron deficiency and the testing recommended  by jh1234 is right on the money.
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WOW!!  I can't believe I just happened to come accross this forum!!  I am sooooo thankful I did!  I was researching, AGAIN, about these overwhelming cravings I have, and that is how I found this forum.  I can't believe I finally found other people who can relate to these cravings I've been experiencing for some time now!!  To be honest, the few people I have shared this "problem" with really do think I'm crazy!!!!  I have yet (until now) found anyone that can even begin to understand how or why I crave the things I do.  I believe I started having these cravings for about 2 years now, and maybe more!

I'm embarassed to say that just talking about these cravings here is making my mouth water!  I think the very first cravings I started having were for fuel.  I especially LOVE the smell of diesel fuel before it is burned in a vehicle, but I also love the fumes that come from a diesel truck of any kind.  I also love the smell of other fuels about as well now, such as gasoline and kerosine!!  I don't just love them-----I LOVE them, and I desperately want to eat them!!  I also find that I love the smell of fresh cut wood, such as you would find in the lumber isle of Home Depot, etc.  I have even stopped at Home Depot just to walk through the lumber isle and smell the wood, all the while salivating!!  I also want to eat the wood, and I try to think of ways that I can do this without harming myself.  I sit and daydream of eating sawdust that is soaked with gasoline!!  I have told my son and my husband this, and they seem very concerned.  I have assured them that I will not eat anything harmful, but to be honest, sometimes the cravings are so overwhelming that I think I HAVE to eat something to satisfy my cravings.  My cravings now include MARKERS, certain kinds of DIRT (just by the way it looks to me), lots of chemical smells, such as CLEANING PRODUCTS.  I also crave the smell of WOOD STAIN, too!!  There is a shop some miles from my house that sells Amish made oak furniture.  When you go in that shop, you get a strong smell of stain!  It makes my mouth water, and I feel like I want to lick the furniture!  Also, another craving that is just as powerful as the rest is ASPHALT (blacktop)!!!  I want to inhale it and eat it!  Whenever I went through a construction area this summer where they were laying asphalt, I would roll my window down and take deep breaths to inhale every bit of the fumes I could!

My cravings are so bad I try to think of places I can go to smell the things I crave!!  I get bottles of cleaner out of the cupboard and smell them over and over again.  I think the biggest problem is, though, that smelling never seems to be enough.  As I said before, I want to EAT these things.  I even want to feel certain textures between my teeth while I'm chewing them!

I am a vegetarian but not totally vegan, as I do use milk and eggs in baking.  I also eat cheese, but I don't eat any red meat, poultry, or seafood!  I am cold all the time, and people have told me before that I am probably anemic.  I am terrified to go to the doctor for ANY reason, so I have never been tested for anemia!  The whole doctor thing is a huge issue of it's own, but I really am a normal person!  I'm so glad to find out that I am not alone with these cravings!  They are much more powerful than most people could ever understand, and these cravings are with me EVERY single day, all day long.  Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!
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Oh my goodness!  I thought I was the only one who experienced this wierd need to smell Pine-sol, Seabreeze facial astringent, Vicks vapor rub, gasoline, magic markers, and tea tree oil.  I feel like a drug addict because I will stand and smell these things hoping nobody sees me.  I would be so embarrassed.  Fortunately, I don't want to eat these products.  However, I do feel like sniffing sometimes isn't enough.  I don't feel  loopy after sniffing these items, but I do feel better after taking several whiffs.  I have previously been checked for anemia, but that came up negative.  So, what other reason could there be for these crazy - and sometimes insatiable - smell cravings?
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maybe cravings for such substances are due to all the artificial highly potent flavor/smelling stuff in our food these days o_O perhaps some persons' bodies get confused :-D  while others just might have smelled those things since their childhood, aquired a taste for it and subconsciously associate these smells with something positive. I mean... why not. Lots of people even like the taste of burned tobacco, while everyone who tries first in youth (or childhood nowadays...) has to force himself to get used to it because it's disgusting :-D If one can aquire a taste for smoke, why not all the other things listed... Doesn't seem particularly weird to me, in comparison to people who voluntarily inhale gaseous residues of burned substances.
*just making wild guesses* :-)

As a child I liked the smell of a particular brand of "lighter petrol" hehe. But not so much that I wanted to sniff it for its own sake.

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I am not pregnant.  I am in my 30's.  I am overweight.  I am not anemic.  I have a lot of anxiety.  And, I crave the most unusual smells.  I am addicted to the scent of permanent markers, gasoline, sulphur phosphates, Pine Sol, bleach, Gain detergent, diesel exhaust, dust, tire stores, just about anything that has a harsh fume to it.  I don't crave sweet smells.  I used to crave sweet smells like shampoos, perfumes, potpourri, years ago in my 20's.  When I was pregnant years ago, I craved dirt and Pine Sol like crazy!  But, now, for some reason--- I cannot fascinate myself enough with the "fume" smells that so many products emit!  I don't sniff them to get high.  I don't want to eat them, though I've dabbed a touch of Gain detergent on my tongue to see if it would relieve my addiction to the smell.  I like to take cleaners with bleach and spray them on a paper towel and smell it.  I have to take it with me sometimes, before traveling far.  I cannot keep myself from looking under the bathroom sinks of my friends' houses, to see if I can find something to take a whiff of.  I keep a marker in my pocket and purse all the time, and no matter where I go, I have to have it.  I like to pull over and smell it, but I'm embarassed that someone is going to see me.  The other day I put the tip of the marker in my mouth to see what it tasted like. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't good, either.  If I knew that Pine Sol wouldn't kill me, I'd drink it.  

What is this?  I've done research.  I don't know if it's PICA or not and if it is, is there anything to do about it?  This is a growing problem, from what I've discovered.  Is there research on this topic being checked out?  
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wow,,, I am so relieved. my family thinks im crazy. i just recently started having the urge to sniff at first Ajax cleaner. I love it so much i would inhale the can until i'd choke from the particles mouth. ivealways loved the smell of gasoline, but not as much as i do now.
my sister accidentally got attacked at the gas pump and got her sweater and jeans soaked with it. she came home and immediately gave me the sweater off her back bcuz i begged for it so much. i wanna sniff rubbing alcohol until i cant sniff anymore. problem is, when i smell these fumes..i'm never satisfied. ive been wanting for a while now to be in the midst of any chemical that has a powdery-like texture. that will leave a cloud of heavy dust or smoke. i wanna be right in the middle of it..inhaling.
yes, i could sniff these fumes all day. yes, i cant get enough. but the only difference with me is that i enjoy it so much i find myself getting turned on by it. ( as weird as that may sound)
unbeknownst to me i began  making moaning sounds. im getting turned on just thinking about it. things like clorox disenfecting wipes, rubbing alcohol, ajax, gasoline, bathroom cleaners, and sometimes even powder(bcuz of the dusty, smoke type texure.
i want these urges to go away. but in a weird way, i dont!!!

im 24..female. at first i thought i was pregnant but im not. at least now i know what to tell my doctor to check for. thanks alot!!
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I am having problems with Anemia. My doctor has put me on HUGE iron pills and We've even been talking about blood transfusion. But i find myself EATING ICE. when i work at the mall I always go to starbucks and get a VENTI glass full of ice and when i'm working at the nursing home i keep my water bottle full of ice. it's ridiculous.

I have this face wash taht when i am washing my face it smells sooo good i want to eat it and it scares me half to death. But the doctor says it's just because i'm low on iron.
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I just looked up PICA and some of the symptoms seem to match what people are writing about here. However, it is a diagnoses for 'eating non food items'. I have not (like many of you here) eaten the things that I crave to smell. PICA also does not mention smell at all. Also there is quite a lot of causes, from (the easiest to cure) Iron deficiencies to mental diseases. I am like the rest of you 'normal' functioning. I printed off the messages and I am taking it to my doctor. Hopefully she will be able to help.
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i also have these cravings sometimes particularly for chalk, wet cement and such....but unlike most of you i'm male and i eat fairly well with no restrictions to anything...i also work out and was wondering if these cravings were a way of my body telling me that i need to consume particular nutrients for muscle growth or growth in general as im only 19??

any ideas?
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I have been doing a lot of research on zinc deficiency and an important first sign is loss of smell, as well as pica and many other odd cravings. Zinc is so basic to our body’s functioning (enzymes, reproduction, digestion, brain, immune system, and much more) that even a mild deficiency causes major problems in every bodily system-including hair loss, both obesity and anorexia, depression, acne, all dental problems, and much more. Zinc is lost from our bodies from chemicals, sugar (zinc is a component of insulin, and is lost every time we eat sugar!) and processed foods. Someone mentioned diet soda-every ingredient depletes zinc! Zinc is in all sources of protein, so we should all have enough, but there are so many chemicals that we’re exposed to-preservatives, taste enhancers, pesticides, metals, food dyes, solvents, medications, estrogens, etc.-that we’re probably all at least somewhat low in zinc, and teens, young adults and elderly may be quite low. To pardus-zinc is absolutely required for building muscles-check out ZMA (but they should be adding copper to protect the heart, prevent premature white hair and much more).
Many of the cravings mentioned here-ice, sand, clay, concrete, soil and chalk-are definitely from a mineral deficiency.  A deficiency in zinc leads to an imbalance of metals: low usable copper, which leads to low blood iron (as someone mentioned) as well as high storage iron (dangerous).  Heavy metals can accumulate in zinc deficiency because zinc normally takes them out of the body, and heavy metals then displace zinc further. Someone I know with ADHD, who is low in zinc, also craves strong smells, like deodorants, gasoline, lighter fluid, air fresheners, cleaning products, so I believe these cravings are from a mineral imbalance, probably with some accumulation of heavy metals (which all Americans have to some extent).
Zinc and copper are our protective minerals in many ways, and they help us properly digest our food so we can get all our other nutrients, including minerals like iron, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin A. I think everyone should be taking at least some zinc and copper, along with a tablespoon of cod liver oil (vitamin D and fatty acids are necessary for zinc absorption) and boron (helps with copper and protects teeth!). Take zinc and copper (they both must be taken or else zinc lowers copper) at least 2 hours apart: 25 to 50 mg zinc and 3 to 5 mg copper. Also, no high doses of vitamin C or calcium-they displace zinc. Also, cut way back on sugar/processed foods, especially soda, and eat lots of pumpkin seeds, seafood and beans! All my friends and family are taking zinc and copper now and there’s been some great results, so I really think this will help. Be patient though, it can take up to 2 years to correct a zinc deficiency.
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The craving for things like paint and dirt is usually from a deficiency in either Vitamin D or Calcium. Your doctor can have these tested so ask and find out where you are at.

Good Luck
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wat do i do i have aneamia and not do i only crave this wierd stuff ive been eating it since 2 years bt only very small amounts and i stopped for ages bewteen these two years.

sometimes going to the toilet is hard especially when im menstruating.

i want to tell a doctor bt i dnt no what to do and what will the doctor do to me or say?
what should i tell my doctor? im so scared

plz plz help me guys!!!!

thnku soo much

celtic
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Celtic,  just tell your doctor what you are experiencing.  I'm sure he or she has heard it ALL before.  You can even admit to the doctor that you are embarrassed and scared by this so you want to address it head on.  Make a list of things you want to ask before you go into the doctor so you can refer to it.  Everything is going to be just fine!  But you have to take that first step and call for an appointment.  Good luck!
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WOW!! I am not from another planet! I have told all of my family and friends about my cravings and they think I am crazy, my boyfriend even told me that I was doing it for attention. My biggest cravings are vapor rub, moth balls, pine-sol, finger nail polish and cedar but all the other things mentioned, I love too!  I have to admit, I have went the extra mile, I have been eating vapor rub on a regular basis for over a year. I started having to carry it with me all the time and then after a while, I couldnt resist it anymore!! I had to taste it! It was the most wonderful thing that I had ever tasted! Just commenting on it, I am having to eat it because my mouth is watering. I could just take a moth ball and dip it in vapor rub and have a glass of pin-sol along with it and be in hog heaven! I havent tried anything oraly except for the vapor rub, I just hope that I can continue to fight it off. Coal is another thing, its not the smell but just the fact that when I chew it, it leaves gritt in my mouth. Ice is another thing that I cant get enough of. I have had problems with my iron and I am on a anti-deppresent called Effexor, I am a white female, 32 years of age. I also have social anxiety problems. Does anyone else crave moth balls?
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I was driven to the emergency room yesterday.  I thought I was dying.  After being there for hours.  They said I was anemic.  I had lost 1/2 of my blood count.  They wanted to transfuse me.  I chose iron supplements.  Well, I said that to say, that explains my TWO super cravings.  I had to have extra PICKLES on my double cheese burger.  And I hate pickles.  I don't recall when it began, but the craving was there.  Now for the ultimate super craving.  Sniffing gas.  I had it for the last month or so.  I got to have it.  I want it now. At the gas station I would sit in my car with the door open and inhale the fumes with great concentration.  When I would get home at night (dark so no one would see me) open my gas tank and sniff as much fumes as would come out.  I crave gas in the morning, day, and night.  What makes it so bad, I like the cravings.  This has to be damaging in some way.
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I have the same story as most of you but have found healthier ways to somewhat curb the cravings. I crave wood shavings, soil and if I see a pile of cement, dirt, sand etc. at a construction site my mouth waters endlessly. So I started eating things that come straight from the soil and have that "dirt" taste associated with it such as, celery and radishes. The best thing by far though is the rosemary and basil that I've planted in my back yard! The second my mouth starts to water I run out to the yard, pick some leaves and chew away! It doesn't get rid of it totally but it works better than anything else and it's healthy! Try it, you won't be sorry!
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I have the same story as most of you but have found healthier ways to somewhat curb the cravings. I crave wood shavings, soil and if I see a pile of cement, dirt, sand etc. at a construction site my mouth waters endlessly. So I started eating things that come straight from the soil and have that "dirt" taste associated with it such as, celery and radishes. The best thing by far though is the rosemary and basil that I've planted in my back yard! The second my mouth starts to water I run out to the yard, pick some leaves and chew away! It doesn't get rid of it totally but it works better than anything else and it's healthy! Try it, you won't be sorry!
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I have the same story as most of you but have found healthier ways to somewhat curb the cravings. I crave wood shavings, soil and if I see a pile of cement, dirt, sand etc. at a construction site my mouth waters endlessly. So I started eating things that come straight from the soil and have that "dirt" taste associated with it such as, celery and radishes. The best thing by far though is the rosemary and basil that I've planted in my back yard! The second my mouth starts to water I run out to the yard, pick some leaves and chew away! It doesn't get rid of it totally but it works better than anything else and it's healthy! Try it, you won't be sorry!
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I have the same story as most of you but have found healthier ways to somewhat curb the cravings. I crave wood shavings, soil and if I see a pile of cement, dirt, sand etc. at a construction site my mouth waters endlessly. So I started eating things that come straight from the soil and have that "dirt" taste associated with it such as, celery and radishes. The best thing by far though is the rosemary and basil that I've planted in my back yard! The second my mouth starts to water I run out to the yard, pick some leaves and chew away! It doesn't get rid of it totally but it works better than anything else and it's healthy! Try it, you won't be sorry!
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the felling  of wanting to eat dirt smell dirt or dirt like suplment. is not an  unplesant to me i did have this feeling one time before when was pregent not only did i want to eat dirt i needed to smell it.!! seafood was a craving also as well a a lot of veg. and fruit . not that didnt  like or have anything to do with this things anyway but having a child made the want or need more .... if u know what i mean ...!!! i am now 41  and no im NOT>>>!!! PREGANT!!!  so im wondering if it has any thing to do with the change ?? and if so WHAT FROM HERE..!!?????
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I went to India where one of my relatives had severe craving for  raw rice for years. She also felt tired. She had tied many things but without much relief. I gave her following treatment with instant relief with one treatment.
1- Intravenous Iron sucrose 200 mg in 250 ml saline over 45 minutes.
2- Intravenous Magnesium Chloride/ Zinc/ Selenium/ Iodine- in 250 ml over 2 hours. It is a symptom of a multi mineral deficiency.
3- Continued oral supplement- containing these items as follow up maintenance.
Years of symptoms disappeared in one day.
You cannot do the above IV on your own but oral treatment is available at one month course costing $110.00 . with money back guarantee.
Fax 808- 537-3313.
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I love to eat paper!! The taste is great I always wondered why I crave paper??
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I too have had weird cravings for smells....I've found myself wandering thru Lowe's smelling the wood.  I've bought the big black markers to scribble on paper and keep in my car for the smell.....finally I went to the doctor and found out my iron is very low.  Also my potassium and B-12 are low.  My thyroid is off.  I am going to start taking a Rx of Iron and I need to give myself shots of B-12 weekly.  
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My mouth is defiantly watering, ive always had these cravings, and i embrace them, although i don't give in, i do think a lot about them: dirt, Ajax, and blood. It's not like a hunger, it is just an urge, an odd want for absorption of smell, texture, minerals, and i don't even know! My finger tips curl as well as my toes in their shoes, their want is more powerful than my control, always restraining my fists to my sides in embarrassment and slap of sanity.
It's unexplainable really, very odd, but very obsessing. I also don't like to eat processes food, people may call me a "health nut" but I really do just like those foods, ive always been this way and never really fit in before it was the "cool thing to do" in higher level high school/college.
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I am so glad I found this? It started when i was pregnant with my last 2 kids, i had to have that stupid vivks nose inhaler, omg, i never went anywhere without it, then i started sniffing sharpies, you know the metal ones! YUMMY! I stay up late and when my husband and kids r in bed, i sniff away! I get so scarded i will wake up with a nose full of black marker, explain that one?  Thank god i havent gotten caught yet. I cant help it, i started to stick the marker in my mouth and suck the marker? WTF????? omg heaven. i dont do it to get high, but this one time i got dizzy! I am really worried, one day i loked at my "life saver markers" and i threw them out..... ok i suffered. o the agony.....so i went 2 weeks without anything, then i pumped gas and the smell,  it was so good, i stuck my finger in the tank, i acted like i was wiping it , then i said o let me get a paper towel, so it looks like im cleaning it off, i sniffed it all the way home. now im sniffing paint from under my sink that has been for years. im really getting nervious.
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So does anyone know if there has been scientific and/or medical research about any of this???
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I have low iron due to a very heavy menstrual bleeding and I am just like the rest of you (which makes me feel a bit less crazy). I have the weirdest cravings when my iron get really low.I crave paper. Not just any old paper, I want the brown paper towel the most but, I also want brown paper bags, and cardboard. I L-O-V-E to chew on brown paper towel. I do sometimes swallow it but, usually chewing it does the trick. I gets so bad that everytime I am in a bathroom with the brown paper towels in it, i have to have some. I salavate just thinking about it. I even keep some in my purse. I also love the smell of  permanent mark to the point of wanting to eat it. I have the same problem with Windex, and other glass cleaners. I know that once my iron level gets back up the cravings for paper and certain smells goes away but, when it is low, those cravings take over my life.
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Yes, PICA is very specific to iron deficiency anemia.  They do have odd cravings, like dirt or ice.  Ice seems to be the most common.  It may go with other deficiencies as well, but PICA is a symptom of iron deficiency anemia which is the most severe form of anemia.  There are two kinds of anemia and they are important to differentiate.  The best test for ID anemia is through ferritin levels not hemoglobin and hematocrit.  Vegetarians are most often the people who suffer from iron deficiency anemia because of the lack of iron in their diets, but it is also caused by malnutrition as well as internal bleeding so it needs to be checked.  I have it right now and I was not a vegetarian and have never been.  I also tested perfectly normal on my hemoglobin and my hematocrit.  Low normal but normal.  When they tested my ferritin levels, because more symptoms were appearing, I had a level of 18.  If you look on the internet at the credible sites, most will treat for levels under 20 at the least, but studies showed symptoms like restless leg will appear at levels below 50.  My mother in her 60s had a ferritin level in the 50s.  That is how different our levels were.  At 18 I had very cold hands and feet and was layering my clothing and putting on extra blankets and sleeping fully clothed in sweats at night and the temperature was in the 60s.  It will make you feel horrible.  I would wake up at 6:45, get my kids up for school, grab a quilt and lay on the couch in the front room so I could say bye to them as they left for school.  It was that bad, and I felt like a terrible mom.  It is important not to take iron unless you have your iron checked.

To put it simply, the hemoglobin and hematocrit only show what is circulating in your blood.  Your ferritin is your total body iron stores so it shows what you have available as backup.  Your hematocrit and hemoglobin will appear normal if your iron stores are having to release their backups in order to keep you going because that's the point of having backup.  In ID anemia those values will eventually drop when you have used up all your stores and you now have no emergency backup either.  Then you will feel extremely ill and probably end up in the hospital.  When your ferritin is low you will be hard pressed to get extra energy when you need it for exercise or just simply living.  If you are tired often and you're having these cravings or the symptoms I've had I would suggest you have the ferritin checked, and don't be surprised if your doctor isn't familiar with the value of a ferritin test because too many rely on the hematocrit and hemoglobin, which basically means that you aren't going to get help until you are at that crisis level.  

I guarantee your local health department does know about ferritin, and so does the National Institutes of Health and other credible institutions, so if your doctor won't check, find a doctor who will.  I tell you this because after having been treated with a supplement (mine happens to be Chromagen Forte, but you can also take an over the counter) I have seen a huge difference.   My hands are no longer pale all the time.  They actually have blood in them.  My Raynaud's which came on around the same time as the anemia also seems to be resolving.  Warm showers felt so good because the blood would go into my hands and feet.  I still have a ways to go before my stores are built up but I can tell you personally that iron deficiency anemia is not a walk in the park, and you do not have to have very low levels to begin having symptoms.  Some people can go very low without symptoms while others will notice it below 20 ng/ul, which was my case.  Ferritin is one of the lab values they test when someone complains of restless leg syndrome.  If it helps anyone, my hair is finally beginning to show improvement as well after I have complained for five years of it falling out to no avail from the docs.  Sorry to be so long but if this post helps anyone, then I'll be happy.  Please don't supplement with iron without knowing what your levels are as you can get iron toxicity.
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Join the Cornstarch Discussion Group it is for people with PICA.   You will find that a lot of the people there have the same desires and cravings like you.  

Here is a link:  Cornstarch-***@****

The Cornstarch Discussion Group
Do you eat “NON-FOOD/Non Nutritional" items such as ice, dirt, clay, laundry starch, cornstarch, etc., then you may be have PICA, a craving for non-food items. This discussion group is for anyone who has PICA or has a partner, friend, or child dealing with it. PICA can affect anyone. Unfortunately, too many of people are embarrassed to discuss it even with anyone. Here you may share your experiences, there is no need to be embarrassed . . . YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Remember, PICA is a medical disorder and should be diagnosed and treated by your physician. PLEASE SEEK HELP! . . .

"ALL ARE WELCOME HERE!"

ALL THAT IS ASKED OF YOU IS THAT YOU DO NOT USE ANY PROFANITY, WORDS, OR PHRASES THAT WILL OFFEND OTHER MEMBERS.
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Could you please post the Cornstarch link again!  I am very interested in checking it out!  Is it on this website or another.  I don't understand the link.  Thanks!

I haven't posted in a long time, but my cravings are still with me EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!!!  They never go away, and if anything, they are worse!
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Only just recently I started having these really strange cravings again.  It all started about 9 years ago when I was pregnant with my son and for some odd reason, I HAD to sniff my mom's menthol cigarette box.  Not just take a little whiff but literally hold the box under my nose and deeply inhale.  Then to suppliment my "craving" I ate menthol-lyptus cough drops.  I just tossed it off as pregnancy hormones.  Now 9 years later, here we go again.  I am not pregnant however.  I have to inhale the unsmoked pack of menthol (and even box a pack of smokes to help).  In addition to sniffing, I now dry-smoke a menthol and am addicted to Vick's Vapor Rub.  It even gets so bad that I have to dry smoke, rub vicks on my chest, and chew on a menthol cough drop.  My hubby swears I'm weird and if that's not the worst part, I am also addicted to Sea Salt.  (weird I know)  I bought a sea salt grinder, popped off the grinder part and just started munching on the salt everyday.  Eventually I ran out and just had to buy more.  What is wrong with me and I'm so glad to see I'm not the only one who feels like a freak.  
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OMG there are other chemical craver non junkies out there.  My issue just recently began.  I ended 8 months of chemo and radiation and I have noticed the same smells that would have sent me puking.. I now absolutely crave.  Windex, the very first moment of a burned match, clorox scented bleach wipes, rubbing alcohal (alcohol), soil, permanent markers, wood at Home depot, hand sanitizer....I will talk to my doctor about it because this has become a real craving.  I have actually thought of scenarios to clean so I can smell these things.  I found myself using the hand sanitizer at the grocery store register several times because I liked the alcohal (alcohol) smell.  I also have recently altered my diet to mostly vegetarian, and had a platinum drug which means lots of metal buildup in my body too.
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Asphalt, Asphalt filler, Gasoline, Dirt, amonia (ammonia), dusty vents...And whatever else is to be discovered.....I chew/eat the line fillers on asphalt. A little digging and it's all mine. The taste is great. I know I must stop, but how??? The ice eating helps a little. Yikes!!
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See your doctors and to help in the mean time, I really like crunching dried rosemary. It's good for you and you can keep a small spice jar of it in your purse.  If anyone asks, you use it to freshen your breath, which of course it will do quite well.
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I am slightly anemic, and I have cravings for chewing wet towels, it's gross and embarassing to tell. I guess i should tal to my Dr about it?
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Once upon a time, I was craving clove oil, the kind that is used for tooth pain. The next day I read that it kills microbes, and it struck upon me that I had been having a stomach virus the day before.
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I have always liked strong smells but since having my daughter 6 years ago,it has been overwhelming .Like many here I am glad to see its not just me.My family and friends think I am crazy.The overwhelming need to smell deisel, petrol, disinfectant, pen markers and to stick vicks on my face for half an hour before going to bed drives me insane.It just doesn't get better.I would say its worse.I keep a bottle of tippex handy shoe cleaner etc not for a high but I just need a quick smell.I know it cannot be healthy but I cannot stop.Is there any treatment?I have mentioned to doctor but they just brushed it aside.I am a very anxious person.Could there be a link?
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I LOVE the taste of dirt, cement, chalk, dry wall and pretty much everything that has to do with the smell :) or taste of dirt! It is so delicious and i don't know why?? Everytime someone hears of my 'condition' they always tell me that i'm lacking in some kind of iron or something. I don't know if they're right or not but i don't care unless someone actually gives me a definent answer or unless they tell me i can get that same taste through some kind of harry potter jelly beans or something!  I recently (2 monthes ago) stoped eating (chewing) pieces of cement because i don't want my teeth to chip away and i recemend that anyone eating cement or chewing on rocks STOP! I hate to say that because i love the taste so much, but think of you teeth in the long run. ....... That is why i'm looking for an alternative to dirt or what have you.  It tastes so good that there has to be something out there that isn't as harmful!!! Please I want something!!
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OMG!!! Here I thought I was the only one to crave weird non food items...
Im 32 weeks now and my whole pregnancy I've had a craving for something, at first I thought something to eat but then I found out that what I really craved is Comet Cleaner... I sit at my desk at work all day waiting for it to be time to go home and clean my tubs and toilets, sinks etc. I get this weird excitement when I sprinkle the powder and add a little water it turns into a paste ... OOhhhh I just love it!!!  With my first pregnancy I had a craving for Gain detergent (powder)... And that one I actually ate... My husband thinks I'm going nuts!!!! lol
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OMG! I have these same symptoms! I crave the smell of any cleaners, bleach, chlorine, gasoline, exhaust fumes and I am not getting high from these things and dont want to either! But my mouth waters when thinking about these things and when im near them, its all i can do to keep from putting them in my mouth! When we go to the store the first place i go is the cleaning isle... My husband gets mad at me and says i look like a junky but i really cant help it, its an addiction that is just there. I also am anemic and really always have been but what i want to know is why am i anemic? I am the biggest red meat, spinich, and oyster eating woman you've ever seen! and i like me meat raw, in fact my family cant stand to watch me eat red meat bc i eat it barely cooked! It kind of worrys me bc most of you are vegetarian and anemic and i am def. not a vegan. However i have been anemic most of my life, at least since i was 14. Does this mean i have stomach ulcers? I seen one of you write that it could be from heavely bleeding on ur period but my periods are light and usually only about 5 days.... Im not sure what to do?
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ahhhh thank god i thought i was the only one im going out of my mind  whats wrong with me i keep having these crazy cravings for stuff like dirt bleach comet and powder laundry soap i will go spray bleach all day in the bathroom and just smell it i will poor the comet in to the tub and just rub my ands and feet in it all day. i play in the laundry soap everytime i go to wash clothes. i take a shower and i rub the soap on my tounge i use a whole bar of soap when taking a shower not eating it but i love how it feels on me and not any saop mostly dial even tho its breaks me out. i love to eat dirt and sand its something i started as a child when my mother was prego she used to sed us out to get her some dirt so she could eat it and i would eat some before giving it to her. and something i havent dont yet but really want to is lick wer cement i dont know when it rains and the smell of the cement and the rain just does domething to me  and gas omg i loveeee it so much old car gas new caw gas big truck gas i go to the gas station and pump the gas my self i even get a little on my hand or mostly my feet so i can smell it while im driving. and when im showering i have this thing where i like how the towel feels on the back of my tounge i think tho this and hot hot showers calm the cravings for me
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You certainly know how to punish yourself. You say in an off-hand manner that you have been anemic all your life. Hello out there.... You are probably missing lots of things. Yes, minerals, of course. Add one tablespoon of liquid trace minerals to a gallon of filtered water and put it in the refrigerator for use. (That should put an end to sniffing construction sites.) That takes care of minerals. Now add a complete vitam supplement and plus additional B's. Vegan diets are off-the-wall in terms of depriving our body of its basic needs. After five years you may have developed serious deficiencies. I understand the appeal of vegetarianism, and I feel that people have too much meat in their diet, but we are omnivores, not herbivores. We need a certain amount of meat. And meat has lots of those lovely B vitamins.

I hear people talk about Indians being vegetarians and how healthy they are. Most people have never known an Indian. Well I have (having spent quite some time in India) and I find them to be irritable, with little stamina. I chalk that up to a shortage of B's, not to a character flaw.

Good luck and bon appetit!
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hi i have only just started to get weird cravings for about 2-3 months now, i crave for washing detergents, cleaning detergents, fabric softner exspecially wen ive just washed me clothes i just want to smell and eat the smell so bad, the smell of anything damp, and the freakyest one is having a bath with green radox, dipping my flannel into the water and sucking the water out of it, also the taste of the bubbles. this is not good i know. can someone please give me any advise!!!
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Wow, i just learned about Pica about a month ago. I have been sniffing and eating mothballs since i was 3 or 4, and im now 30. So i said to myself am i an alien, because im killing myself eating mothballs. But i love the taste and smell soooooooooo much its scary, so i googled "crave mothballs" and i have found you guys. Thank you i now know that im not an alien, im not the only person in this world who craves like this, just the thought of them makes my mouth water. I want this to come out of the closet so more people like us will realize this is a serious issue and a medical disorder.
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Hi.
Every since I was fourteen years all I like smelling moth balls and through the strong craving for moth balls I start chewing on my clothers. The think is I crave certain detergents and certain scents on the clothers to chew on.At fifteen I went to the hospital for anemia and I got a blood transfusion after that the doctor recommend an iron tablet for anemia and with the use of the iron my craving went away and I stop for a while. When my iron intake went low again I start back feeling for the clothers and I am now thirty years and for the past fisteen years the cravings increased if I withdraw from the iron, the cravings will dissapear depends on how high is my iron intake. I use to think I was weird because I will hide and do it I will cut the clothers in the size of gum and chew it. I know at times people will ask me what I chewing and will be ashamed to tell them but most of my clothers get destroyed that way.Right now I am taking an iron supplement ferroglobin and with that the craving has lessen than being servere.
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I'm having the craving of smelling leather...What could that be from? It's crazy all I want to do is go some where and sniff leather.
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These are foods rich in iron for vegetarians.  Just adding a couple of these during your daily food intake will be good for you.

Green Leafy Vegetables: Spinach, Asparagus, Broccoli, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Kale, Turnip Greens, Parsley, Cabbage, chard, watercress, brussel sprouts.
Certain fortied foods: Cereals, Oatmeal, Pasta, Rice, Grits, Tofu, Barley,  Potato

Most kind of Dried Beans: Lima Beans, Kidney Beans, Navy Beans, Soy Beans, Chick Beans, Pinto Beans, Black Eye Beans.


Nuts: Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame, Tahini, dried beans, hazlenuts, lentils, peanuts.
Dried Fruits: Apricots, Rasins, Dates - Prunes, Figs.
Fruits: Oranges, cantaloupes, lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerine, tangelo.

Note: Natural iron is found in many foods, however, many people do not absorb it well. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron while caffeine can make it difficult for the body to absorb iron.

Too much iron can lead to a life threatening condition called Iron Toxicity. The right amount of iron has many benefits.

Helps boost oxygen supply to muscles
Increases resistance to disease and stress.
Prevents fatigue.

Nutrition Tip: Vitamin C helps your body absorb Iron!
The right amounts of iron in a healthy diet is essential to the body producing oxygen caryying hemoglobin.

It might be appropriate to consult with your medical doctor about the possibility of not having enough iron in your diet if work productivity decreases, irritability increases, increased heart rate, lack of energy or exhaustion, pale appearance, poor appetites, or short attention spans are present.

Iron deficiency can lead to anemia. This means that the healthy level of red blood cells needed to carry oxygen to the body's tissues drops.

Easily irritable
Rapid or increased heart rate
Enlarged spleen
Easily Exhausted or lack of energy
More prone to infection
Pale Appearance or lack of color of the skin.
Poor appetite
Shorter attention span
Swollen or sore tongue
Pica: a condition for a desire to eat substances such as dirt.

Iron deficiency anemia can be caused by a low iron diet. Be sure to eat a well balanced diet with the appropriate amount of iron. Be careful not to consume too much iron because it can lead to Iron Toxicity, an overdose of iron that can lead to death, .
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I am having bizaare cravings to such qas dirt and sand. I have not eaten it or anything but I want to.
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I'm glad I found this site. I love strong odors (nail polish, acetone polish remover, paint, industrial glue, markers, gasoline) but I CRAVE the smell of rubbing alcohol. I have alcohol pads in my desk drawer. I like to rip open a pack, put the pad directly on my nose and inhale deeply. Sometimes I will saturate a cotton ball with it and carry it around with me. It smells so good that it makes me salivate. I love the burn inside my nose, but I know this is bad because it dries out the membranes. Like most people here, I don't do it to get high off of it and I also wish I could drink it. Drinking it would probably kill me and probably be pretty painful. I have iron deficiency anemia.
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Ok so im not pregnant and have my tubes tied the reason I say this is because it is common in woman that are. I crave the smells of permanent markers,floor cleaners,and gas almost to the point where I could drink it but  know that it would not taste as good as it smells. I was reading that a lack of iron can make this happin and the only thing I can think of is I have a uterine fibroid and I bleed for 3 to 4 months at a time stop for 1 or 2 then start bleeding again so I could be lacking iron. but why dose a lack of iron make you crave this stuff so bad and I mean bad to the point where my mouth is watering just thinking about it right now.
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I am addicted to the smell of rubbing alcohol... I love the smell.. My mouth waters just thinking about it!  I am so glad I found this site, because I thought I was losing my mind!  
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There is definitely a connection between iron deficiency and non-food cravings. I have had my menstrual flow non-stop for close to 3 months, heavy, with blood clots. Just recently have been craving wet sand, chalk and the smell of bleach.  Have been to a ob gyn and will start taking iron supplements, hopefully this will help.
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Im 18 ,female.. I have a strange craving for printed newspapers or books, or any other photocopied paper..
I go mad when i feel the smell of mud during rain in the air. i feel like searching for it in the space and imagining myself eating it. lolz
I like the taste of water. And i drink on an on. and try to feel the taste of the mud.. water makes me feel so good..
I really don't know but i enjoy all this a lott.














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I just found this site today.  I'd looked up 'ashes craving' because I used to eat them all the time as a child.  My cravings now have grown.  For instance, my cravings for Vick's Vapor Rub have gotten so bad lately, I've taken to making sure I have a container in all the rooms of the house I frequent, as well as in my purse and at my desk at work.  I have to smell it and taste it.  

I crave diesel and gasoline fumes, often rubbing my finger on the gas tank rim after filling up so that I can smell it for longer.  

When I go to the grocery store, one of my first stops is in the laundry section so that I can find the moth balls and smell them.

I've got a cabinet full of the new Swiffer lavendar and vanilla scented dusting cleaner because it has a deep woodsy chemical smell to it and I'm afraid they'll stop selling it one day.

I carry around a small bottle of pine sol in the grocery store so I can smell it as I shop.  

I'm not trying to get high off of these smells, I just have to have the scent.

Recently I stocked up on the metal markers so that I can have that smell at my office and at home.

I've had low levels of iron before, and after reading this webpage, I'm guessing that I'm having low levels again.  I'm just glad to know I'm not going crazy!
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I'm 8 months pregnant and I have pica, my doctor and I are both aware of it and I'm on iron supplements, but it takes a while for you to get your iron back up.  

I have to admit that smelling wet concrete, comet, pool chemicals give me unbelievable pleasure.  Eating my daily magnesium supplement is SO good, it's like melty concrete in your mouth!!!

When we were at Home Depot, I made my husband put a 60 lb bag of quickcrete in the cart.  It's in a bucket in the garage and I mix up a batch of concrete a few times a day, I think I've made 20 lbs of concrete in the past two weeks.  I have all these concrete things I've made that hold water and pieces of broken concrete.  I like the smell of concrete when it's fully cured, but soaked in water.  I've also picked up pieces of extra concrete that are laying around anywhere they're pouring concrete (like for sidewalks) and brought it home, put in a jar with water and put a lid on it, so I can go sniff the hardened wet concrete later.  

I also have bowls of comet that I've mixed with water and I like to sniff when they're moist and cleaning with bleach is unbelievable!!!  

We have a hot tub and the smell of the chemicals coming off the bubbles from the jets is addictive.  I use the maximum amount of bromine that is safe.  Then I like to smell the chemicals on my swimsuit after I get out of the hot tub.  

My husband asked me if he thinks I'll miss pica when it's gone, because it seems to give me so much pleasure.  It's frustrating pleasure though.  I want to eat the concrete.  I want to feel it crush between my teeth.  Chewing ice is one of the only things that lets me satisfy this urge, but it's not quite right...
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It can take a long time to build up a deficiency, and a long time to correct it. Your are anemic. Hold your nose and eat some red meat (iron). As for your mineral cravings, add 1 tablespoon of trace minerals to each gallon of drinking water.

I started adding the minerals to water a few years ago because I did not want to be bothered with pills. After two years the horny skin on my feet turned smooth and my varicose veins disappeared. I could not think of why I would have been deficient in minerals since I had always eaten a balanced diet. I think the deficiency may be caused by the soil being exhausted. They add fertilizer, but not minerals.
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OMG I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT U GUYS ARE TALKING ABOUT   I REALLY LOVE CHEWING ON MOTH BALLS I WILL GO TO FAMILY DOLLAR JUST TO GET MOTH BALLS I WILL BUY 3BOXES TAKE THEM HOME PUT THEM IN A CROWN ROYAL BAG CRUSH THEM UP WITH A HAMMER AS FINE AS BABY POWDER AN  LET IT GET CHUNKY THEN I POP IT IN MY MOUTH I CHEW IT AN SPRAY AMONIA (ammonia) IN THE BATH ROOM SINK I WILL CHEW  MOTH BALLS AN SNIFF AMONIA (ammonia) AT THE SAME TIME  WHEN MY FAMILY HIDES IT FROM ME I WILL GET REALLY UPSET JUST THE SMELL OF MOTH BALLS MAKE MY MOUTH WATER TO THE POINT I HAVE TO SPIT AN IVE NOTICE IF I TRY TO GO A COUPLE OF DAYS WITH OUT CHEWING MOTH BALLS MY HEAD WILL HURT AN AS SOON AS I GO BUY THEM AN DO MY SAME ROUTINE MY HEAD DONT HURT I HAVE TO HAVE THEM ITS LIKE I WITHDRAW IF I DONT HAVE MOTHBALLS AS A MEAL THAT DAY WHATS WRONG WITH ME
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I am currently being treated with oral progesterone and my craving for smelling peppermint, vicks vapor rub, minty powder, even my covergirl facepowder (it smells like noxema) has kicked in full force!

I had similar cravings while pregnant with child 2 & 3.

I am guessing this might be a hormonal imbalance (even perimenopause) as we enter menopause our estrogen levels drop causing progesterone levels to be in a higher ratio (this also happens during pregnancy and is responsible for our food cravings).

I just walk around with vicks liquid vapor on a cotton ball and sniff away, I don't think it is bad for you as it is supposed to be put in a vaporizer, but for the rest of you, don't sniff the gasoline, or eat it!  Try to find something that is non harmful to relieve the cravings and get your hormones checked!

I am going to be done with this hormone tx in about 5 days, I will try to post an update to see if the cravings go away after the hormones have left my body!
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Oh my God I thought I was nuts. I mostly crave, sucking flannels, chewing them and sucking water out and towels as well. Licking, biting and sucking them. I just googled that and found this discussion. LOVE the smell of fabric softeners and washing powders and things as well. I have actually just recently been told I'm anemic by my dr and prescribed Iron tablets. I knew all about Pica (or thought I did) i didn't realise it included what I did and I didn't realise it was linking to Anemia. Thank you for putting my mind at rest! :o) I have been too embarrassed to tell anyone lol. xXx
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Also I am almost 34 weeks pregnant as well :o) xXx
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I told my family about my cravings for chalk, dirt, ceramics tonight and they thought I was crazy.  My cravings are not very bad any more but I broke a ceramic plate a few months ago and licked the exposed rough ceramic and it tasted very good.
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I'm only 14 and I thought I was alone.  I have and Iron deficiency and I realized by reading these comments today that's why I'm craving weird smells. Since I was 11 I loved the smell of chlorine when I went swimming in chlorinated pools. One day my mom told me chlorine is made of bleach. Last summer I was looking through the cupboards so I could find detergent to do my laundry and I noticed a Scrubbing Bubbles bottle. At the front  it said "with bleach". I decided to see what it smelled like. I smelled it for like 3 minutes. A week after I had a craving for the smell . Since then I've gotten  cravings for bleach. Not all the time, but when chlorine is mentioned. I learned last year that sniffing bleach causes lung damage and brain damage. I'm scared that the craving won't stop but my mouth waters just thinking about it. I'm going to remember to start taking my Iron supplement everyday and I'm going to try to stop. No one knows about this so I'm on my own. This really is serious.
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I'm glad that I'm not the only one out there craving strange things and not wanting to get high off it. I have Rheumatoid arthritis and I'm very anemic my Thyroid is also off. I crave the most Rubbing Alcohol but other stuff as well such as white out, ashes from my fire place, Hand sanitizer, Ammonia, Gas fumes, or exhaust fumes. I this is not normal and it scares me. When I take my iron supplement it makes me deathly ill to the point that I cant get out of bed. The rubbing alcohol has started giving me headaches and makes me sleepy. What is wrong wit this picture I'm not a junky and I don't want to get high. But I cant control these urges. I did tell my Dr. but he didn't seem to think it much to worry about.
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i feel so much better reading these comments. i am 34 weeks pregnant and i can't stop chewing on towels esp freshly washed slightly damp ones!
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my craving is for NEW TIRES to smell them I have had this craving since childhood and it gets worse at times It would be nice to know why
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I just recently started craving cigarette ashes and i do smoke and i was awaken the other night with the strongest urge and i ended up sitting on the side of my bed dipping my finger into a ash tray and licking the ashes from my fingers...I recently had a low TSH result test...just wondering if this could be a side effect to underactive thyroid?
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I have always been anemic, and recently found out i'm low in Vitamin D. I have cravings for ice, i would go in a store and start on the freezes, the gas smells amazing, and taste so good, sometimes my friends would be embarassed i wouldn't care as long i have to get my ice, clay oooh its something i would ask my mum to send me from abroad they sell them particularly to feed the craves. Im typing now and my mouth is all wotery. I once broke my freezer coz i was cleaning it, instead i started eating the ice it go to a point where i had to scrap off the hard ice with knife and it went through on the side and gas leaked got rid of it and bought the non-frost one I MISS my old freezer so badly, i used to open the door and stay there for hours just eating the ice i would have it in a big bowl with spoon, for some weird reason I cant stand cold drinks but give me ice i will chew it like my life depend on it. My fav stop is subway they have these ice vends make nice cute small ice cube easy to chew.

I like to smell, permanent makers, gas at the gas station ooooh im in heaven,, plastic smell in a shop or shoes shop....sometimes i open my freezer just to smeel the gas..
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so glad that I'm not the only who experience this problem. I have loved the smell of chalk and dirt since I was 10 years old. It started from when the teacher used to let me dust the chalk board erasers. Since then the aroma just stuck with me and I've been craving it ever since. I also love the smell after it rains, and pretty much anything dirt related. I do have iron deficiency anemia so I'm guessing that has a lot to do with it. Any suggestions on how to get rid of these cravings?  It's weird and very embarrassing to those who can't relate
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I crave crave crave Ivory Soap, liquid dial soap and Fanstasik with oxy power.  I will put Ivory Soap in the microwave and then ground into powder and snitff it out of a bag.  What the hell is wrong with me!
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with all due respect, I cannot help but think you are trying to kid us. I believe Ivory soap, just like all soap contains lye, which is caustic. Just let a little soap get into your eyes and you'll quickly see what I mean.  For a person to inhale into their very sensitive nasal and sinus cavities, to say nothing of their lungs, this caustic and harmful material, is just beyond belief. I do hope nobody out there tries it.
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Avatar_n_tn
i too crave cigarette ash so am really glad to find someone who does also.  i am an ex smoker and havent touched a ciggy for over 4 years.  these cravings ive been having worried me, i thought i might be going mad.  i too have an underactive thyroid which is being treated with medication, and i have been anaemic due to heavy periods.  i also cant get enough of the smell of petrol, and the smell of my dog which wafts up when i switch my hoover on!  the strangest thing that bothers me the most is my enjoyment of 'crunchy' sounds, be it walking on a stony/gravelly path, or the sounds of digging wet gravelly sand.  ash is the only thing i actually want to eat though
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Avatar_m_tn
For a month I craved chalk, rocks, potting soil, the smell of Dawn dish soap, and sand along the sides of my tongue near the very back.  I inadvertently bought Crest toothpaste that had crystals in it, and I literally chewed it before brushing because it brought relief.  I also began craving ice cubes and had to chew them.  My doctor diagnosed me with low iron levels and within 7 hours - literally - of taking a multi-vitamin along with an extra dose of iron, my symptoms disappeared.  It's such a relief!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I had some of the symptoms that you all have experienced when I was pregnant (3 times).  I had my iron levels checked often during pregnancy, but I was always good on iron.  I still wanted to crunch on ice, and I never did before I was pregnant.  You all should try Real Salt, Celtic Salt, etc.  There are minerals still in the salt.  You can see them.  They are in there natural form.  When I got some Real Salt, I just used it like I did regular table salt.  I began to crave the Real Salt, and my ice cravings went away.  It worked for me.  It might for you too.  Good luck!
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I've dined on 4 bags of menthol cough drops (50-75 per bag) in 4 days, and I am EXHAUSTEDDDDDD.....I'm guessing its time for my yearly infusion of Imfed (IV Iron). Plus.... I am a nurse and we have cleaning towelettes that are saturated in alcohol.....I open them up and just sniff them until they dry out.  For all of you that keep asking WHY do you do what you do.......go to your doctor and get a complete iron work up.  DO not take iron on your own.....iron is extremely toxic in high doses...

Someone said try dried rosemary...yes it does work!  Better than trying to eat pine sol!
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Avatar_m_tn
I am about almost 8 months prego and i crave the smell of gasoline all through my pregnacy not to mention the smell of exaughst from cars its crazy and i chew ice like crazy think god my pregnacy is almost up its such a dangerous habit to smell chemicals like that.
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Avatar_f_tn
wow! and i thought i was going crazy! i am 20 years old and 32 weeks (8months) pregnant with my first child. almost a month ago i got a new body wash and it smelled so good i would shower for an extra 5-10 min just to smell the body wash, now its not just my body wash but also my boyfriends body wash, the air wick plug in thing, dish soap, carpet powder you put on before vacuming, basically i crave the smell of clean and when im around these things and smell them all i want to do is eat them! of course i havent but i feel so tempted to i smell them all day just to feel satisfied but i also feel like im going crazy because i cant eat it!
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I eat vapor rub...have been doing it since i was 12...weird right? well i stopped for a while because i was pregnant with my son...and now its going back to it...I am nervous because I threw all of it away, called the poison hotline...and found out i can get into a coma...get seizures and all kinds of stuff because of vicks...its called a camphor overdose..i am going to my doctor to fix the issue...( i also eat ice all the time) and even tried icey hot..but lol it was nasty. so i never turned back. I am anemic...
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Avatar_m_tn
about Pica disorder, as well as other variations of cravings for various non-food items.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pica_%28disorder%29
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Avatar_n_tn
Craving Ice means you have an Iron deficiency! Get Iron from spinach or red meat etc.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think people should be made more aware of such problems be4 any one gets serious hurt like broken teeth, sore mouth etc. or even life threatening condition.
These sort of disease can cause a lot of misery to anyone individual and I think anyone who has experience this my relate to what I mean.

Lazy
failed targets
little memory
terrible skin
Let alone income
Something needs to be taken seriously people can be labelled yet they are
in need for help and even them selves do not know about it
How sad!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I think people should be made more aware of such problems be4 any one gets serious hurt like broken teeth, sore mouth etc. or even life threatening condition.
These sort of disease can cause a lot of misery to anyone individual and I think anyone who has experience this my relate to what I mean.

Lazy
failed targets
little memory
terrible skin
Let alone income
Something needs to be taken seriously people can be labelled yet they are
in need for help and even them selves do not know about it
How sad!!!!
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Thank God I saw this forum.. I just started Iron supplements and Hemaplex supplements after going to the ER for irregular heartbeats due to ANEMIA. I saw this forum...2 days later my heart started beating irregular and I immediately went to the ER.  My symptoms:  I had been dragging around for over a year....tired all the time...and then weird symptoms started to pop up these past few months. Adding to the fatigue was memory problems...shortness of breath...heavy feeling in the chest...dark circles under my eyes... and THEN the craving of GASOLINE.  It was when I got the craving to smell Gasoline that I was SERIOUSLY confused.  I started to not act like myself.  I am a Human Resource Director for a Mental Health and Substance Abuse facility.  So I know what PICA is and I also know what substance abuse is and my craving was NEITHER of those.  I didn't want to ingest the gasoline...and I didn't want to get high from it....  I would walk passed the gas can in my garage and my mouth would water.  I would fill up my car and before I would hang up the pump I would look around to make sure no one saw me...and then I would stick it close to my nose and sniff...then I would feel better.  At night, so no one would see me due to embarrassment, I would sneak out to the garage and smell it out of the can.  It is VERY important to know that I DID NOT EVER have any intention of getting HIGH.  I just wanted to take a few whiffs so this ODD craving would go away and it always did go away.  But in the morning it always came right back.  My mouth always watered thinking about it.  It was very VERY weird. I brought it up to a medical doctor in my facility and to a Licensed Professional Counselor in my facility and both said it was very strange and that I should go get checked up on medically because they knew ME and that it had to be something seriously wrong internally.  When I mentioned it to the doctor in the ER, they did an EKG of my heart.  They saw it was beating irregularly which is consistent with severe Anemia...they did a blood work up and it showed I was severely low in IRON due to my uterine fibroid that causes my periods to be irregular and sometimes heavy.  EVERYONE...if you have this WEIRD craving to smell gasoline...please go get checked!!!
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Hi everyone, I know exactly what everyone here is going through. I have been eating non-food items since i was 4. I have had everything - paint chips, cement, pottery, chalk, lead, dirt... I have always been anemic. I am fine once I take my tablets but as soon as I stop it, I go right back to eating the same stuff. Currently I am 22 years old and now I have taken to buying pottery and keeping it in my bag so I have it everywhere I go. Its embarassing! My tongue is always sore and I am scared my teeth will break.
My doctor says I will have to keep taking Iron supplements for my life since I am a vegetarian and my Iron level is REALLY low.
Well, it ***** but I guess its better than having cancer for a disease. Although I am fine right now, I would really like to know how this is going to affect me in the long run.
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Avatar_m_tn
i have been eating ice since i was 13. I also became vegetarian around this age. i don't think that i am low in iron, though, as i donate blood every 3 months and my levels are always fine. i also crave the smell of rubber, wet dirt and swamp water. i work in an alumina refinery laboratory. i literally cannot get enough of the smell of some of the samples i test, especially when they are hot. i crave the sound of sand slurry being poured through a funnel. it's weird and bizarre - but having read the other posts, i am glad i don't want to eat this stuff!
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i'm so glad i found this site!  i've been smelling the weirdest things lately and have really had to restrain myself from tasting the chalk dust on my daughter's easel.  i love filling my gas tank & i used to hate having the smell of gasoline on my gloves/hands, but now i find myself smelling my hands all day afterward.  i love windex and spray cleaners & i've always loved the smell of vicks.  i was really looking forward to going to bed tonight cuz i've got a cold & i *need* to put some vicks on my chest & especially directly under my nose (even though i know you're not supposed to).  i recently found someone who makes a menthol bath soak that i bought just to smell.

i'm so glad that i'm not crazy.  well, i am a little bit, but not becuz i like to smell things.  i've got an appt with my psychiatrist next week & i had planned to talk to her about this, but i'm glad it may not be becuz of my meds
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As strange as it is I do eat the black paving asphult. I also crave gas/ pine-sol/ it's so hard to stop It seems like I need to eat it. I am very anemic. I can't take the iron pills they make me so sick. It's so hard to stop I have so many bags of it hidden threw out my house. No one knows of what I do. Guess I'm just afraid of what it's doing to my body.
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Avatar_m_tn
I do not find it necessary to say that being is a wrong way of life.  We are not meant to eat meat.  If you look at a tiger or wolf their teeth are pointed.  Obviously we can survive without meat or there would be no such thing as a vegan.  We do not need any of it for survival.  Also, we are the only species on the earth that drinks milk past infancy and even more, from another SPECIES!  Meat is nasty.  I would not tell you that the crap you are putting into your body is horrible for your health.  So do not try and tell me that I am making bad choices.  I am a VERY healthy VEGAN thank you very much!  This is not a post to say things about some ones belief.  If you choose to talk about something, choose to talk about what the post is about.  Otherwise, keep you OPINIONS to yourself!
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Avatar_n_tn
SO glad I found this site...I LOVE the smell of rubbing alcohol. Something about that sting of the fumes going up my nose, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. I have MS and my medication is an injection so they send me a full box of alcohol pads with every prescription order. That is the best thing ever! I have a box of pads at work and several boxes at home and sometimes I just rip a couple open, put them directly to my nose and inhale deeply until the smell dissipates and I feel so much better. Usually i only do it with 1 or 2 pads and then I'm fine. I just crave it so badly sometimes.

Even weirder, I know that drinking it would be dangerous, so as I'm sniffing the pads I will usually pause and drink some diet soda which gives me the sensation of "drinking" it without actually doing it. This sounds so bizarre.
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I started having weird craving to eat wood for about two years now.  The craving got to the point whereby I could no longer control it and so I started by cutting stem off my apple tree, piled off the skin, washed and boiled, dried it and chew it until it meshed up in the mouth and will swallow. It’s just like eating fruits like carrots or orange.    The wood eating extended from cutting my apple tree stems to eating cocktail sticks.  I chew and eat about 150 UK size cocktail sticks a day. For the past two years.  Since I started eating wood, I no longer have the urge to eat things like chocolate or nuts etc.   I mostly crave for wood in the morning after brushing my teeth, and after every meal and the last thing at night.
Two days ago, I went to see my doctor for cold, and thereby discovered that I was actually anemic due to heavy periods for over ten years now; however my body just adjusted to the low blood level.  There were no other symptoms to suggest the case for PICA (e.g. tiredness, out of breathed) as mentioned earlier.
I am actually collecting my Iron tablets tomorrow and so if the crave of wood eating suddenly stops; I will keep the community informed.  I pray that it stops as I am tired of chewing wood and just want to return back to normal as my family is seriously worried.

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I am so addicted to sniffing b'loonies and gasoline and fat permanent markers spraypaint and white out. I don't know why I don't get high I just looooove the smellll soooo much and original scent pine sol omg I love chemical smells certain ones and nail polish. I need help where do I turn too its not like I'm getting high I just craaave the smells of those things only help what can this be???
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I like the smell and taste of bleach. I started of when I was little by puttin comet in my mouth and eating in and then spitting it out, almost everyday. I started liking bleach my high school years and now I can't stop. I am now a sophomore in college please help me.  Will I ever be able to stop!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 39 year old female that has had two bouts with cravings for the taste of exhaust.  I will go running in high traffic areas just to get my fix.  It leads to the consumption of copious amounts of plain rice cakes and sometimes white cheddar.  I would rather eat them than anything else.  The first time time happened, I ate rice cakes almost exclusively for weeks (up to 28 a day) and then found out that I was very low on blood iron.  Recently, 10 years later, I got off the iron supplements again "to see what would happen" and alas I am jonesing for rice cakes and have bought three bags to, hopefully, get me throught the next day or so.  I am going to take some iron tonight.  I have to.  I am making a mess of my car with these puffs of rice and I feel what is a akin to a heavy drug addict strategizing how I am going to get some more.  It can't be a good sign and as much I loathe taking supplements, I can't forgo all foodstuffs for a rice cake exclusive diet.  It just doesn't seem wise.
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i eat 2 bunches of radishes every day and just thinking about them make my mouth water...i also eat excessive almonds and chew at least 2 packs of gum a day!! help! what's wrong with me?
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Hi there,

I am a 45 year old vegetarian female. I've been feeling really rubbish lately and the doctors are doing loads of tests.  We know i am anaemic and that is leading to other problems.

Last week our neighbour put in a new fence.  He then coated it in a wood stain. The smell was absolutely divine. Now though, I just crave more and more of that kind of smell. I'm tempted to paint my nails just for the smell, or go to the petrol station, anything at all but because I'm craving it so badly I don't want to give in as it's so bad to be addicted. I have no interest in getting high - I just want the smell. REALLY REALLY BADLY.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for that - that sounds similar to me - except i've been diagnosed anaemic before the cravings started.  I am hopeful it will go soon.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a 44 year old woman and have been having lots of non-food cravings. I first started to notice that I really wanted to smell magic markers, and then that I liked the salty dust that blew into my mouth when I walked along the side of the road. Then I loved going to get my car from the mechanic and smelling the smell of spilled oil, and the smell of my winter tires when they had been inside my car for a while. Now I see piles of dirt or dusty rocks and wonder if I can keep myself from licking them. Freshly cut wood, or the inside of a newly constructed building also smells so delicious to me. It is so weird how these cravings just came upon me, and then to read that it is so common to have them!

Since these cravings are so common in pregnant women, my theory is that this is somehow hormonal and related to my starting perimenopause. For the first time ever I skipped a whole period last month, right when these cravings were starting. For a brief time I thought, "could I be pregnant?" but then I realized that was very unlikely, and then I did have a very heavy period.

I suppose, because I have heavy periods, iron deficiency could also be a factor. I have been iron deficient in the past and taking iron supplements now does seem to help a bit with the cravings.

I have not actually eaten the dirt, because I keep telling myself that can't be good for me. Here are some edible things that do help the cravings: candied ginger, cinnamon in large amounts straight out of the jar, chomping down on really strong mints like Altoids. Also salted peanuts seem to help although they're so high in fat I don't like to eat a large amount of them. My main concern is that I can't stick to my weight watchers diet because I am trying to find food that will distract me from the non-food cravings! I suppose if I just ate the dirt it would solve that (it probably has zero points plus!) but I am afraid if I started to eat dirt I wouldn't be able to stop!!

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Avatar_m_tn
I'm a 21-year old male. I like to sniff moth balls, nail polish, markers, paint, construction sites (damp Cement I think), tea tree oil, petrol/fumes and the smell when it's about to rain.

I did a blood test and I'm low on Haemoglobin but high on Red Blood Cells. I haven't see a doctor but I believe it's a sign of being anemic and having low levels of iron.

I've been a lacto-vegetarian for as long as I can remember.

I'd like to remind others like me that you SHOULD NOT SNIFF MOTHBALLS, PETROL, MARKERS and other chemicals as they DAMAGE BRAIN CELLS. I've replaced sniffing mothballs with tea tree oil which I believe is not harmful (correct me if I'm wrong).
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Avatar_m_tn
Try sniffing eucalyptus essential oil. It satisfies my craving for gasoline and mentholatum. Also, Starbucks sells a tea (actually an infusion) called Refresh that is a mixture of peppermint, spearmint, and tarragon. That really helps curb the cravings. I get it cheap at Target and drink it strong. Good luck, everybody!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am now 46 years old. I was born in cuba. By the age of 1 I would eat dirt and anything I could get my hands on. My favorite things up till age 4 was dirt, dust from the streets, I ate rubbing alcohol, razors, glass, later on in life I ate a lot of lead paint in Spain. Yet, I have no high levels of lead in my body. I would lick my finger and walk the streets of paris and slowly run my finger at the edges of buildings and stores and then put it back in my mouth. So many germs for sure. I loved it. I made holes on the walls under the tables for years. cotton balls filled with rubbing alcohol and talcum powder were favorites growing up. Since age 30 till now which it is at its worst is gravel, cement. I eat gravel and grit that u buy for birds. I dont chew it as I dont want my teeth to be affected but I do roll it around and swallow. I told my dr. and was advised not to to this as it can cause an obstruction in my intestines. I have not done it but I know I will soon. I pictures myself for hours on end having cement pounds of it just falling on me with my mouth wide open and swallowing gulps of it non-stop and it is an amazing intoxicating feeling. I have not tried it but I will look into what it can do if i do try it. I eat all types of food and am healthy. Not anemic. I do have a lot of gray hair and had it since 5th grade. I was told it is a mineral deficiency. I will say that if I drink grape juice dark it takes it away. Dont know why but I dont really like grape juice. I was told  it is PICA. but, what to do about it? I mean its with me 24/7. I dont smoke or do drugs or drink alcohol. I dont know what else to say I am in the middle of this and crave, crave cement which I most likely will go get gravel to just get some peace.
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I know this is an old Post..but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the cravings you have for ice are an iron deficency.. I had cravings to crunch on ice for a few months until I had a blood test and found out I was very aneamic.  After getting my iron levels up with iron tablets and foods I've not craved ice since!
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There is a show I recently came across, My Strange Addiction, that is what brought me here.  I too have had some problems.  Although, with a full blood panel and allergy testing:  found I was bottomed out on Vitamin D.  I recently studied and Vitamin D, B's, K's, and Iron, can cause strange cravings.  Untreated staph infection/Mrsa can lead to it as well.  Another is lead poisoning.  Please ask for a full blood panel.  It truly made a difference.  Minerals, Vitamins, and Metals in and abundance or to little can cause damage and cravings.  God be with you all and Prayers to you all.  Also, mental health plays a big part into cravings.  These are the things I have experienced and learned.  I hope it helps at least one person.  
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Several years ago I had to eat ice all day for over a year.  Not even a soda drinker but craved chewing ice.  Found after serious length of bowel problems IBS, and severe loss of Potassium, Hyperkalemia, put me in hospital.  Sigmoidoscopy proved Ulcerative Colitis (2009). Then gall bladder surgery within three months (2010). Then caught Pneumonia for first time probably from hospital. Felt Dead-tired, 45# weight loss, pale skin, deep dark undereye circles, extreme hair loss...a year after this started; three months post-op tested positive for Iron Deficient Anemia requiring two transfusions and weekly infusions for treatment then supplements took months to work (2011).  Still not feeling right asked for blood tests and got Hypothroidism (2012).  TSH still not leveled..

Point?  Your body is telling you something isn't right, go to Physician to find out!  Don't wait, don't collect $200, get thee to a Doctor to order lab tests.  PICA is real and a big clue.   Please listen to your body but do not poised your body with toxins and wonder why you are craving weird things.  PICA.  Ask your Doctor so you can determine cause of cravings.
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I love to get behind an old car with old muffler because I know that wonderful gas smell will travel back to my car and I crank the air vents so I can catch a whiff of that goodness.  When I go to Walt Disney I always make sure I ride the race cars because I know I will get to stand in line and smell that gas smell given off from the cars.  I know how you feel.... Also, I like Testor paints, liquid cement, and VOC fumes from wall paint!  YUM!  JUst the thought makes me drool.  I am glad there are others who know what I am talking about.  BTW, I am anemic.  
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Guess what?

I LOVE to smell mascaras!!! Especially the waterproof ones since they have more of a chemically smell. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

There's one mascara I get at Kohl's that smells like White-Out and paint with other chemicals! Love it!

Also, I love the smell of brand new shoes and handbags. The handbags have certain chemicals that smell good! Flip-flops that are brand new b4 being tried on smell amazing!

I also like to smell eye makeup remover!

But mascara is what smells the best! Try it!
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Avatar_f_tn
Guess what?

I LOVE to smell mascaras!!! Especially the waterproof ones since they have more of a chemically smell. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

There's one mascara I get at Kohl's that smells like White-Out and paint with other chemicals! Love it!

Also, I love the smell of brand new shoes and handbags. The handbags have certain chemicals that smell good! Flip-flops that are brand new b4 being tried on smell amazing!

I also like to smell eye makeup remover!

But mascara is what smells the best! Try it!
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i love to eat rubber band from 4 years..just chew then broke it into pieces and threw it out.. before this craving i have a bulky face but now it become skinny .. i really worried about it.. and want to get rid of this carving...
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I am 42 and I am craving metal. It makes my mouth water. Like metal cups I can chew on them all day long. I am trying to figure out if it is dangerous. I usually can't stand the taste of water.
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Please ignore that idiot eddiew. who doesn't know that commercial soap is not made from lye, or that when real soap is made, it is a transformative chemical reaction which completely changes the lye into salt. Your ivory soap is made from a group of other chemicals known as detergents, and crude oil that has been in an vibration chamber and had pulses of electricty run through it. Hope you find your answer soon JodieW. I don't know what minerals are found naturally in crude oil.
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I am 30s and I am craving number 2 plastic, anytime I get near that particular plastic I feel a strong desire to stop what I'm doing and mouth it over, I've also stolen a number of my son's legos, I like the gray ones in particular, and especially in the morning when the cravings are strongest. I take a few minutes to chew on them a little bit. After a few chews the craving usually goes away for about a week but it always comes right back. If I try to ignore it, I'll end up compulsively chewing on my own chair, and I've caused more than one pen to explode at work, before I even realize what I've done. I feel the urge strongest when I take the medication my doctor proscribed. Glimepiride 2 mg. I am obeast, trying to lose weight, sleep apnea, and diabetic 2.

I've had other 'strange' cravings that I've succumbed too over the years so much that it's just automatic now.
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I believe I am low in iron.  I chew ice all of the time but i also crave the scent of rubbing alcohol (especially wintergreen), moth balls, and sulfur.  I told my mid wife about it during the pregnancy with my 2nd child.  She said it was ok.  I know it isn't.  this has been going on for years and I fear my health is in danger as I smell the rubbing alcohol all the time.  I can't stop no matter how hard I try.  Please help!!!
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I also enjoy the smell of brand new toilet paper still in the package...I will puncture a medium-size hole and stick my nose directly in the hole and take deep breaths with great concentration.

I like buying the four-roll package cuz it's easy to hold and sniff. The hole will be right over the roll hole so my nose has room lol and I will squeeze the package for maximum smell and inhale deeply.

My mouth is watering thinking about it LOL.

Understand I DON'T eat it...just love that fresh new smell of toilet paper.
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The urge to sniff "fumes" is because it is giving you some kind of high, like nicotine from smoking a cigarette. Bondo, pvc glue, Sanford markers in the metal cylinder, gasoline, alcohol, Tester's paint, mothballs, paint thinner, etc., destroy brain cells. If there is a connection with anemia, see a doctor. If you aren't anemic, you are addicted to the high. Either way, see a behavior modification therapist before you continue doing permanent damage to yourself, please.
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Wow, popular thread! I was just about to look up ice cravings regarding myself. I crave ice off and on real bad since I was younger. I know I was anemic when I was little, but I guess that had gone away... but maybe not. Pica, as mentioned in this thread is cravings for substances that have no nutritional value. Right before I started to look up ice cravings I stumbled upon this thread.. interesting. Anyways, it also says, "Pica can also be the result of a person who is suffering from a development disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or other emotional problems."

http://www.ehow.com/info_8511010_causes-someone-crave-ice.html
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For as long as I can remember I cannot stop chewing my pens. No matter how hard I try to keep them out of my mouth I cannot. I have broken teeth threw doing this over the years. I get a new pen and within a week it is a chewed up mess and in pieces. It is so embarrassing when someone comes over to my desk to borrow a pen and all I have is a bunch of chewed up plastic or even worse if they pick up a pen from he desk and it's all wet with my spit.

I don't know what to do. My iron levels are fine. I am a vegetarian but I supplement with B vitamins, zinc, and a host of other minerals. I need to stop this behavior but I don't know how.
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Sorry how do I watch this topic?
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I have to smell pin sol every day. I crave it so bad. I get so happy when I smell it. It don't get high or anything. Don't want to.
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I also love syndodyne tooth paste. I brush my teeth probably 8 times a day for the taste.  
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The sysodyne toothpaste has to be the mint flavor.
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I really crave the taste of chewing ice also. I want to stay in the woods and inhale the ground so badly. I love the smell of wet concrete too and wet clay I just want to stay in the garage and smell the fumes also. I even love the taste of water cuz I can taste the minerals in it. I cant seem to get my fix from this I am always thinking about these things. I wish I could live in a cave cuz I love the smell this really *****!
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Hi All!
I realize that some of these posts are from a while ago, but thought I'd try to reach out.
I am casting for a documentary television program that explores strange cravings like the ones you guys are mentioning - cravings for chalk, wood, charcoal, paper, and all other non-food items.

We are hoping to find some people with cravings for non-food items that would be interested in sharing their stories and struggles with us. All participants will be provided with a professional medical and/or psychological consultations to help get to the root of, and conquer, your cravings.

If interested in participating in this documentary, please email me at ***@**** and I can provide you with more detailed information! Thanks!
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OMG!!! I just came back from Kohl's and loved smelling this Nine Co. handbag! I unzipped it, put my nose down and squeezed the bag to get a beautiful chemical smell!

MY MOUTH IS WATERING!!!
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I can't stop chewing pens and I don't know what to do about it!
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I honestly am so glad I found this site. For the past couple of years I've been craving chalk! I love the way its smells and I get so tempted to eat it!If I get my hands on chalk I have to sniff it or crush it up and play in it. Same with cleaning products. Especially foaming bathroom cleaner
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I love smell of wet red clay when I water my pots. I also, eat white natural chalk, crunchy and soft easy to chew on, love the taste of it. I remember nibbling on board chalk at school but I think some bad chemicals mixed with drawing chalk.  Animals eat natural chalk too; must be some minerals deficiency.   I have not been eating chalk for very long time. About 3 years ago, I started to feel pain in my knees and what is interesting, after I started eating a little chalk every day, may be 2 and half months ago the pain was gone.  I have not even been exercising all this time, in contest that exercise usually helps the knee pain.  I don’t think it’s harmful a little natural chalk along with some fresh salad every day, to avoid constipation. I read all kind of stories one girl got her guts clogged from eating too much clay.  
Link to natural white chalk:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221329637022?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
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