Research perspectives in practice| Volume 104, ISSUE 9, P1393-1397, September 2004

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Reemergence of pica following gastric bypass surgery for obesity: A new presentation of an old problem


      Pica, the compulsive ingestion of nonnutritive substances, has been a fascinating and poorly understood phenomenon for centuries. Pagophagia, or ice eating, is one of the most common forms of pica and is closely associated with the development of iron-deficiency anemia. Although this condition has been well described among pregnant women and malnourished children, particularly in developing countries, it has not been previously reported to occur following gastric bypass surgery for treatment of severe obesity. This article presents two cases of women who experienced a recurrence of pagophagia following gastric bypass surgery, along with an updated review of the literature.
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      R. F. Kushner is a professor, Department of Medicine, and B. Gleason is a medical student, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.


      R. F. Kushner is the medical director and V. Shanta-Retelny is a staff registered dietitian, Wellness Institute, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL.