Dr. Sidney J. Morgan | Optim Primary Care
Friends, there are things about the human body that are just a little unusual. For many people, there is a connection between the level of iron (notated as Fe) within the body and the developing symptoms of restless legs and pica. Pica is the craving to eat non-food items such as ice. Oddly, when the body becomes depleted of iron, some individuals develop cravings to eat things like ice and bothersome restless leg sensations. More so, after the iron is replenished, the symptoms frequently disappear. For some attuned individuals, these symptoms can act as a biological “low iron” indicator, and they know their iron levels are running low again.
Iron deficiency can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, so it’s important to have an evaluation. In a middle-aged individual or older, occult bleeding from an ulcer or cancer is a top concern to rule out. Younger people might have absorption issues or picky eaters. Heavy menses or pregnancy can deplete a woman’s iron supply.
Lastly, an interesting antidote occurs during the IV replacement of iron. Sometimes, oral iron supplements are ineffective in replacing iron in the body, and IV iron is given instead. The interesting part is that frequently the symptoms of ice cravings resolve immediately during the iron infusion such that one might show up feverishly crunching down a “Big Gulp” cup of ice but discard that cup on the way out of the infusion.
You can read Dr. Morgan’s Medical Minute in the Sylvania Times