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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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My daughter is 3 months old.  During my entire pregnancy I ate ice, craved dirt and chalk.  I still crave ice and eat it daily.  I stopped the craving for dirt and chalk, but picked up a strong craving for the smell of gasoline.  I find this very weird and wonder if I have an Iron Deficiency.  I spoke with my doctor during my pregnancy and he just told me to keep an eye on how much ice i was eating.  When I had my daughter and was in the hospital, they gave me iron tablets 2 times a day for the 5 days I was in there.
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so i looked the craving up that i am having and i am glad i found this site. i have been craving comet and sand like material for months. even washing power and soap. something about the smell. it smells really good and eatable. ive been hearing about the condition pica. i dont know how to stop craving it. i am pregnant now and the urge is even higher. what should i do?
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I have been hypothyroid my whole life, now I am in my 40"s and doing without my thryoid completely; I have also been anemic when I was a teen, but overcame that.  I grew up eating lots of wild game, I prefer meat and i crave veggies too, but when I got pregnant, I started craving Lemon scented Comet with Bleach, Dust from a gravel/ red clay road, over used motor oil, the wierd stuff.  My ob/gyn didnt think it was an issue so long as I didnt give in to the cravings... Well that didnt help me at all, in fact I still have the cravings more than ever.  Its pretty bad when u cant clean like you would like to because you know its too hard to resist eating the cleaning chemicals!. what kind of a specialist should we be seeing (a nutrionist> nutrional anaylsis?).
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Im so relived knowing I'm not alone in this, as I've been chewing mothballs since age 15 and I'm 34. I'm now at the lowest low: they've discontinued the kind I like, so now I have them shipped to my home from online hardware stores. Sadly, I was really broken up when I thought i wouldn't be able to get my hands on the old fashioned kind again. In family dollar freaking out over this, and I realized then that I have to get my iron under better control because I know the cravings will stop...they have before and I was fine. But now, I'm chewing them 1 to 3 times a day...hiding from my children because I'm so afraid of anyone knowing about this ugly secret. As wierd and crazy as this seems, you guys made me feel a little normal for the 1st time in a long time. I wish everyone luck in overcoming this very wierd behavior we have.
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I've never had the desire to eat chalk, clay, or anything that people with pica crave.  I do however love the smell of fabric softener, the heat that comes from the dryer, the heater, computers, anything warm.  It almost if not makes my mouth water.  Should I be concerned?
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For about 2-3 years I have been very addicted to tires. I love the smell of them and I have continuously touched the part above the tire and licked the black dust off my hands. Please help me!!!!
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Wow. So many other people with the same issues. I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant and I crave smells. I don't crave foods like most pregnant women. The smells of Lemon Cascade and wood stain are my worst cravings. I do woodworking as a hobby so I always have wood stainnon hand. I will go and open the can and smell it, even if not working on a project at the time. Anytime I'm in the grocers I will go to the dish detergent isle and open a box of the lemon cascade and take several deep breaths. I have been doing this longer than being pregnant, bit as my pregnancy has progressed the craving have gotten worse. I've also recent started using lemon scented Lysol wipes and have come to crave the smell of those as well. I will also eat ice multiple times a day. I know craving these smells can't be healthy but I honestly can not resist. The cravings get so bad sometimes. I am anemic, and have been on iron supplements for years but it has not stopped these cravings. Thankfully, aside from the ice, I have not felt the need to eat any of these. I also have OCD and wonder if that could have bearing on any of this.
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13447134 tn?1431998316
See a doctor for a professional help.
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It started when I was 13 and my mom told me to clean the bathroom and I was using Comet cleanser to clean and the smell just took a hold on me so I decided to sniff the vapors and then I decided to eat some and it freaked me out because I just knew that I was going to die but it didn't kill me and I have been addicted ever since to Comet cleanser. I'm 37 now and it's gotten really bad.. I have to have at 15 cans of Comet cleanser and Ajax cleanser in my cabinet. I get a little high when I snort Comet or Ajax cleanser..it calms me down especially when I'm stressed out. And I have this need to dump the whole can out into the sink and refill it up because I love how it feels between my fingers and yes I do look under my friends or family members cabinets for Comet or Ajax cleanser so I can take it home with me. I used to pour some in my mouth and I would blow it out as if I were smoking a cigarette and fill the hallway with dust particles from the Comet or Ajax cleanser..such a rush. I've dumped a can all over my body while taking a shower and I rub it all over my face and lips..mmm..makes my mouth water. Im so addicted to Comet and Ajax cleanser
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I've had desire for the scent and texture of both of those products since and early age. But, also a desire clean.
As I got older I discovered Clorox Cleanup and desire that scent.
Nowadays, the desire comes and goes. I have found that it correlates, nowadays, when taking a certain medication.
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