Effingham, IL -(Effingham Radio)- It’s not abnormal to have junk food cravings, but if your cravings for something particular are constant or out of control, this could be a sign of a health problem.
4 cravings that people often experience as a result of a health issue:
Your body needs salt for balanced bodily fluids, so if you don’t have enough salt in your diet, you will likely experience cravings.
However, most people get an adequate amount of salt in their diets, so salt cravings may also indicate Addison’s disease.
Addison’s disease occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough cortisol and aldosterone, and it usually results in your blood pressure becoming dangerously low.
Other symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Muscle aches
If you have these symptoms along with intense salt cravings, you might want to seek medical attention.
A strong urge for chewing ice is sometimes a sign of anemia, a condition that results from a lack of red blood cells.
An iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, and many people find that their ice cravings disappear once they take iron supplements.
Even after a fair amount of research, no one is certain what exactly causes people with an iron deficiency to crave ice, but some suggest that it helps with blood flow to the brain and relieves the sluggishness that iron deficiency often causes.
If you frequently feel cravings for chocolate, you may have a magnesium deficiency.
Other symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include:
- Muscle cramps
Chocolate is a good source of magnesium, so if you experience cravings along with these other symptoms, having some dark chocolate could be beneficial.
However, other foods like nuts and leafy greens are healthier sources of magnesium.
Cheese cravings sometimes indicate a fatty acid deficiency. Many people don’t receive enough omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s a common explanation for the craving.
A fatty acid deficiency usually comes with a variety of other symptoms, such as:
- Dry or flaky skin
- Small bumps on the upper arms
- Patchy colors on skin
Some healthy sources of fatty acids include raw almonds, salmon, flax seed, and chia seeds.