Pagophagia, or the practice of consuming ice, is a particular expression of the more general phenomenon of pica. Pagophagia is a complex behavioral phenomenal arising from the interplay of biochemical, hematological, psychological, and cultural factors. This compulsive dietary aberration is observed in many children and pregnant women worldwide. The authors report 3 cases of severe iron deficiency anemia with a serum ferritin level of 2-3 ng/mL, in which the patients were consuming 2 trays and many bags of ice per day. Following treatment with iron therapy, pagophagia spontaneously resolved within 2 weeks. It is a commonly missed problem. Pediatricians should be alert to this phenomena and its association with iron-deficiency anemia.
- Ron deficiency
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health