Monday, July 14, 2008


Okay, my faithful friends, we've come up with the name for that "weird thing" where I want to eat my garbage bags!! Thanks to Asheya and Jen for the name, and Jen for the medical definition:

Here's the definition from Taber's Medical Dictionary:
pica = An eating disorder manifested by a craving to ingest any material not normally considered as food, including starch, clay, ashes, toy balloons, crayons, cotton, grass, cigarette butts, soap, twigs, wood, paper, metal, or plaster. This condition is seen in pregnancy, chlorosis, hysteria, helminthiasis, and certain psychoses. It may also be associated with iron-deficiency anemia. The importance of this condition, the etiology of which is unknown, stems from the toxicity of ingested material (e.g. paint that contains lead) or from ingesting materials in place of essential nutrients. The inclusion of compulsive ingestion of non-food and food items such as licorice, croutons, chewing gum, coffee grounds, or oyster shells as examples of pica is controversial.

I wonder if this can be considered an eating disorder if I don't actually eat the garbage bag??
Anyways; yes, I have low iron stores (13 on a 'normal' scale between 15 and 210) although good hemoglobin levels. I've been taking the floradix liquid iron supplement for a month and a half now, 10 mL twice a day, with food (and with a source of vitamin C). Here's my main dilemma with iron supplement:
In order to maximize absorption, one needs to take the iron supplement separate from calcium.
I eat milk products or calcium for every meal, snack, and etc. Cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, rice milk, almonds, butter, or milk. I LOVE them and I can't get enough...I use cheese as a protein source frequently through the day to help me manage my blood sugar, and when I do eat meat protein it's generally egg, or in a sandwich with cheese, or at supper which will also have some kind of cheese, and at which I usually drink rice milk.
I'm also low in calcium and magnesium so I have to take a supplement for that too--three pills three times a day!!
So, I think that although I'm taking this awesome iron supplement I'm not maximizing its absorption because I'm taking it with calcium 95% of the time.
What do I do?
I need to eat the calcium sources too, since I'm low in calcium.
I need to eat the calcium supplements.
I need to manage my blood sugar.
AND I need more iron.

I've tried taking the calcium supplements separately from meals but that results in my not taking them at all, because my meals are my memory trigger for all my pharmacy of vitamins and probiotics. Plus, it doesn't solve the problem because I'm still eating a lot of milk/calcium rich foods at all my meals, when I have to take my iron because taking it on an empty stomach makes me throw up.

I can also only stomach so much meat.
And the iron makes me constipated, even though the floradix doesn't usually do this to people.
I'm a freak.
But I'm willing to try any suggestions you might have.
And we now know the name of this phenomenon!!

1 comment:

Roboseyo said...

raw spinach salad with french dressing is heavenly. add sunflower seeds or mandarin orange slices for a bit of extra zest.

popeye says spinach has lots of iron.