Daily Health Tips: Why Do I Like Eating Sand And Ice Cubes?


Q: Dear Dr I was eating soil and then I change to eating ice. Now I can’t control urine. I’m always wet. I use pant liner. My question is, what are those things can cause these?
 
A: Hmm! Could something be wrong with you? Maybe…or maybe not. If you live in a very hot place with frequent power cuts and taking some ice cubes makes you feel cool (literally and figuratively :D), then that makes sense. If you’ve just taken a mouthful of very spicy food or perhaps have a dry mouth and need an instant ‘cool me down’ solution, then ice cubes may not be a bad call. This could develop into a habit or something you do when bored.
 
However, constantly eating ice cubes (pagophagia) or other non-food items like chalk, hair, glue, sand, clay etc, generally called pica, could be associated with some disease conditions like iron deficiency anaemia. Moving from one (eating soil) to another non-food item (ice cubes), could certainly be suggesting that something is wrong. Other causes include pregnancy, poverty and conditions like autism.
 
The exact cause of pica has to be found out as it puts one at risk of :
• Bacterial and parasitic infection from eating sand
• Constipation by eating things like hair or even obstruction of the intestines!
 
For details of this condition, please click on these links:
 
 
In addition, eating ice can lead to cracked teeth which may eventually result in teeth sensitivity. So, you might want to be even more careful 🙂
 
I suggest you go visit the hospital to check your ‘blood level’ (haemoglobin level). This will give an idea as to whether this is due to iron deficiency. Your doctor will exclude other causes and in some cases, if this is a compulsive behavior, mental health physicians may be required.
 
As for difficulty controlling urine, here’s how to train that recalcitrant bladder!
 
• Keep track of the number of times you urinated during the day or had accidental leaks.
 
• Keep track of the time between each accident or toilet visit to urinate.
 
• If you realise that you usually go to urinate after every 2 hours then add 15 minutes to it. Once the 2 hours 15 minutes are up, then go and urinate. If you feel the urge before the 2hrs 15 minutes are up, then remind yourself that your bladder is really not full, try your pelvic floor exercises etc to stop the urge.
 
• As this works, increase the interval between bathroom visits by another 15 minutes and continue in that way until your bladder is properly trained 😀 Never thought it was lack of home training that made your bladder mess with you, right?!
 
Remember though that having frequent sudden urges to urinate is not only due to an over-active bladder (which makes you want to urinate even when you have very little urine in your bladder); it can be due to a urinary tract infection, prostate problems etc. So be sure to confirm with your doctor. The symptoms due to overactive bladder can be controlled by bladder training as described above.
 
 
Have a good night, y’all 😀
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