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My Unusual Cravings

From early childhood, my habits included the eating of Rubber, especially the blue/green rubberbands found around newspapers.  Even to this day, I still have a craving for them.  Besides the rubberbands, I also ate pencil erasers, rubber from the soles of tennis shoes, and many other rubberized items. 
Other cravings would include wood, basicly toothpicks.  And from past to present, I continue to bite and eat my nails, bite and eat the skin around my nails, and do pretty much the same with scabs.  When I get sunburned, and when the skin peals away, I have no problem eating those as well.  This can be a pica syndrome or it can be just who I am.

ronniepaulmichigan ronniepaulmichigan 51-55, M 24 Responses Oct 9, 2010

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Oh I'm so happy to know there are other people like me, also. I'm not pregnant, but I crave the smell of rubber. New tires are the best! When we go to Walmart, I get my husband or kids to watch for people while I sniff the tires.....lol! They think I'm crazy but they humor me anyway. My husband bought me 2 bicycle tire tubes & put them in Mason jars for me to preserve the new smell & I love it!!! He promises he's going to buy me a little tricycle tire for my birthday....lol! I also love rubber balls, rubber bands, rubber floor mats, etc. I have loved this smell since childhood. I don't swallow the rubber but I do cut up tire tubes into gum size pieces and chew on them. There's just something satisfying about the taste & smell. I too have been iron deficient in the past. It's such a relief to finally know I'm not alone.

I love to chew rubber. I used to rubber bands but moved to the yellow latex gloves that you wear when you are washing dishes. When I was young I would take them and cut the fingers off of them and chew them until they disintegrate. I stopped for years until one day my neighbors threw a birthday party for their young child and they had this huge balloon arch. When the balloons deflated a few of them fell over into our yard. My mouth watered. I had one of my kids cut a few of the deflated balloons and I went to town. I loved chewing them. They smell so delicious and love the texture. Ever since then I would buy packs of latex balloons from the dollar store and cut them into 1" strips and chew them until pieces start to come off. I never eat them I just throw them away and start a new *****. Then, I got caught by my husband. He would ridicule me so I began hiding my addiction. Only buying the opaque color so that it looks like gum or easily hide under my tongue. I used to only chew a certain kind of balloon because of its texture but the addictive feeling of them only last a short time before they they start to disintegrate. Unfortunately, I moved away from the dollar store where I would buy my packs of balloons and had to switch to another brand. These balloons didn't have that recoil or that squeakiness against my teeth that I loved. The would form until this hard ridgy mass that wasn't too appealing so I would take the little balls of chewed up balloons in put them in the back of notebook so that no one would see them. One day I ran out of balloons and was having a terrible craving to chew so I started to out the those old chewed up balls to re-chew. To my surprise I found out if I continued to chew the hard balls they would soften to the texture of gum! Till this day, I buy three to four packets of balloons, cut them in strips and chew them until they lose their elasticity. Four packs will last me for almost a year. I love them so much. When no one is around I can chew for hours and I am in heaven. For me it's a comforting thing. It is so soothing and cathartic. Thanks for listening!

There was a time where I could not go a day without chewing up rubber. I rarely actually swallowed it, but I'd cut strips from hot water bottles (the ones that smell good) and chew them up until they broke into little pieces and either spit them out or swallow if the situation was tricky. Rubber bands were my last resort if we had run out of good smelling hot water bottles, but they never tasted as strong.

I'm pretty sure I've devoured at least 4 hot water bottles. I'd pieces off round the neck and the flap at the bottom but very often I'd cut too far and they'd leak, much to my mother's dismay, but I would be thrilled at the thought of having a whole bottle to myself. Ahahaa...

I remember when my school bought these huge rubber playground mats, like the kind you put wood chips over so if you fall off a swing or something you have a soft landing, and I waited until everyone was gone and I cut myself a piece from one of the mats. Worst rubber ever. Full of grit!! But man, did I love inhaling the smell as I walked through the halls where they used the extra mats.

I even stole a rubber top for a test tube from the science class room.

That was the last piece of rubber I chewed though because I moved in with my boyfriend and had to stop since. I don't think I've told him yet, but I don't like to think about it in case I decide to do it again, an to be honest it's not the nicest habit.

But man, does rubber taste delicious..... I wonder what's so addictive about it?

I cannot believe this! I have eaten the EXACT same thing as you. I thought it was freaky and I still kinda do it behind peoples back. It embarrassed me. Still kinda does. I thought I was a freak of nature for liking rubbery substances. But now I'm not alone. What should I do??

P.s I'm 31 now and my teeth hurt a lot so maybe stick to the rubber bands lol :$

Hi I chew hot water bottles I cut them up in to bite size pieces pore boiling water over them to get the delicious smell then I chew them till they brake up in my mouth then I spit it out and start again iv done this since I fell pregnant at 18 years old and continued up until I was 29 when I was given an iron infusion and it stopped until just recently iv started again and also have anemia again people think im crazy lol

I never knew what to call it but i knew something was wrong with me...ive had a craving for rubber bands for as long as i can remember..my earliest memory i was about 4 and i was in a jewelry store with my grandma and this over whelming smell of rubber hit me..i want to literally lick the floor..as soon as we got home i went into my room and chewed the fingers, toes, and noses off of my barbie and ken dolls..i soon discovered rubber bands and they calmed the cravings somewhat..but a new pair of sneakers or bicycle tires are not safe around me..lol

eat old book paper

I love the smell of hot water bottles, but I would never think of eating one! That's a bit extreme!

Omg, this is so great for me to know that Im not some freak of nature. Ive been eating rubber bands since I was 15, when I first got pregnant. In 2009 I was actually admitted to the hospital I had digested too many. I was downing a whole 2lb bag in like a week and a half. They had to insert a scope down my throat to retrieve them. They wanted to admit me to the crazy house but I knew for a fact that I was crazy. The following year I was having stomach pains so I went back to the hospital. It was then that I learned that I had pice. Im 22 and Im still chewing them. I cant resist just thinking about it now makes me want to grab a handful. I love they way they smell, taste, and how they feel when I swallow them. Honestly though I want to stop because I think Its starting to take a toll on my health. I have lost all apetite for any real food. Its made me lose a drastic amount of weight. From summer last year until now. I have went from a size 13 to a 4. But my belly is bulging out like Im pregnant. I think its because my stomach is full of rubber. Hopefully I can find a way to get rid of them without having to have abdominal surgery. At least now I know Im not alone!

Oh my. I thought I was the only person who chewed rubber bands! The smell just makes my mouth water. I have done this for as long as I can remember, at least 40 years. I also eat rubber shoes, hot water bottles and went through a stage when pregnant of eating lime scale from the kettle. Hello fellow freaks!

I love the smell of rubber, tyres, new cars, I also love the smell of air beds, and the smell of burning rubber..<br /><br />
I don't know if anyone else gets this but when I smell rubber I get a weird sensation in my throat almost asif its swallen!

there are a lot of things people eat for me it is money and paint chips off of houses sometimes I like the smell and taste of rocks my sister liked to eat school paste though and notebook paper

Wow! I thought I was the only one who chewed rubber bands and enjoyed the smell. Who knew a whole world of us existed. Thank you internet!<br />
<br />
I have LOVED the smell of rubber bands since I was in college in 1988. I used to buy a box of them each week just to get a fresh whiff. It was not until 10 years later when I finally, for some unknown reason, chewed on one. I have never stopped.<br />
<br />
I did not find out I was anemic until 2004. My blood count typically hovers around 6.4, on a good day. When I told the doctor that I LOVED to chew rubber bands, he just raised his eyebrows and said I think you have Pica. He said in his 30 years as a Hematologist/Oncologist I was the first patient who ever reported chewing rubber bands. <br />
<br />
My favorite ones - Staples #64. They are just the right texture. They never break and always smell divine. I go through a large bag every two months.

I too love to chew rubber. But its not just any rubber. It has to smell good for me to want to chew it. Like the rubber on a new tire or a new plunger. It smells to good that you want to taste it. I wish they would come out with a rubber flavored gum!!!!! I chew rubber bands but only the ones that I can find that have that true rubber smell. I actually crave rubber. Its good to know that Im not alone. My mother says that I would chew shower shoes as an infant. Imagine that.

I too chew rubber bands. My favorite are the universal brand. Thin brown ones. Ive been chewing for a long time. I try to stop afraid I will become allergic to latex. I can stop for a day or two but the cravings are so strong I always give in. It's an addiction. My mouth literally starts to water just thinking about them. I wish I could stop but dont know how.

Yikes! I also have the mouth water thing. I also tried to stop for one month. The draw to buy a new package at Staples was too strong. I ALWAYS need to chew a rubber band when I am driving.

Hello I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of this year and now going through chemo. I have had the rubber cravings since I was about 7 and going through some childhood trauma. Also in March of this year I was diagnosed as being aneamic. I'm on iron tablets.<br />
In 2009 I ordered a certain type of rubberband (from Amazon uk) 16 x 15mg boxes and chewed my way through them all!!! I loved the way they smelt and tasted! (discovered them by accident after buying one box at the PO!!!) I also chewed various other brands from the £1 store. It was just becasue they smelt so strongly like diesel (love the smell!!!) and they had that lovely bitter rubber dust which I can inhale for ages!<br />
I don't know if doing all this has contributed to my cancer...?? I know some rubber does have some carceogenic substances but don't know if it applies to coloured rubber bands or just things like black tyres and mats??? For Lent (just before I was diagnosed) I gave up rubber bands. I haven't had one since. Although I still really crave them...badly.<br />
I've noticed cravings get worse before time of the month and if my iron levels are low...(which seems to be a lot cos I'm going through chemo).<br />
I'm determined not to start again. I made a promise to God that I wouldn't start again...<br />
To all you rubber chewers...I know what you are going through...I'm trying to stop. Managed to so far... Maybe try to help yourself too??

<p>i have been eating rubber bands since i was 14yrs old am 40 now and i thought it was only me ive eaten hot water bottles converse trainers i just cant stop i buy boxes of rubber band the thin ones and eat them all the time</p>

I have been eating rubber bands for 17 years since I was 12!<br />
my parents took me to the doctors because I eat the bath mat and water bottles in the house.<br />
Now I buy a huge bag of rubber bands a week and slowly work my through them and I always eat them in the same order staring with the big ones working my way down in size and width. I have never really thought bout why I do it before and have never heard of pica...but it makes perfect sense to me now...I chew them every day but more when stressed or bored and my cravings. Doubled when I was pregnant. <br />
I'm just glad to have some answers at last but my cravings get so strong I can't stop for long...maybe a month but no longer then that.<br />
Also glad to know I'm not the only one out there eating rubber..I used to just chew them after making them into little balls but now I chew them till they brake up and swallow the pieces.<br />
I have eat all sorts of rubber products...water bottles, bath mats, the buttons of remotes, and even the rubber off my child's spacer for his inhalers after a very strong craving and the shop being shut.

Hi ,i am 14 years old . And i Have been Craving ALL rubber smelling or contaiaing rubber items . Most desireable SCRUNCIIS and HEADBANDS . i try to stop , but eventually i crave them so badly it Makes me not want to eat real food until i eat one. I have been under this habit for atleast 4 years , and im Scared i may be causing health issues . i Want help on how to stop ! does anybody know how to stop it ? im kind of desperate . :(

wow..me too. just scabs & rubber (tennis shoes and rubberbands) I'm glad I'm not alone: )

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Low iron has been an issue for me as well. Stress maybe a factor in triggering the craving, but it also triggers different responses in different people. My cravings can be described as pica, but currrently it is a choice, not a addiction, I eat or chew things because I like them.

I am with you on this. I've researched it and it is Pica. The smell of rubber makes me want to eat it. When I say eat, I don't mean actually ingesting it but I chew it till it's broke down and I have to throw away the remaining tiny pieces. Chewing it intensifies the scent some how. I don't know when exactly I started it but I remember chewing on my shoe laces when I was 2nd grade a few times. Looking back I think it may have been the smell of leather. At some point in high school I started on rubber bands. Just like you, I had specific ones that did it for me and it was the red and green ones on news papers. My grandparents use to keep loads of them and I devoured everyone over time. I went through a small period of chewing paper but I tired of it. So I stick with rubber and I quit chewing rubber bands because I figured out, it was the poweder I loved even more and thought I may be poisoning myself not knowing what that powder was. My confession: I eat the rubber on shoes. Specifically canvas shoes like converse. Those have a rubber all around it that is absolutely deliciously gratifying. I also chew the insole, discovered they taste the way a shoe smells by accident and have been hooked ever since. The only shoes that have the right insole are usually canvas shoes with the big thick sole that's either a tan color or black. You see how specific you can get with Pica? I buy pairs of shoes like this real cheap like at a dollar store, pick a size that will last me a while, pull the rubber from around it and cut it into slivers for me to chew along with strips of the insole. I've kept this secret forever. I've tried to quit and the cravings get stronger until I have to get some shoes. I've even taken shoes from my sister and mom that I know they gave up wearing, washed them and would take one first then other much later. They never knew what happened to those shoes nor did they care I don't think. It's even worse if someone has washed their white canvase shoes in bleach because it makes my mouth water and want to eat them but I don't because it's well...bleach is bad for you. Freaked me out I liked it. So here's the deal. Pica is largely caused by an iron deficiency. I was diagnosed iron deficient anemic when I was high school but it was due to heavy/irregular periods. If i was low on iron as a kid, I don't know. Low iron will make you crave ice and beer too. Not to many people know about the beer craving but I do my homework on anything I want to know and discovered that in an article a few years ago. Hell I remember playing around newly built houses where it was just the wooden fr<x>ames and the smell of the wood made me want to eat it but I never did. I thought it may splinter. You see the thought process in this? I'm sure its much like an addiction. So it can obviously be curtailed by our belief system for sure. Most give in to these cravings secretly because it's culturally "abnormal" and if it means anything to someone, they either don't actually put it in their mouths or they do it secretly. It implies it could be controlled but we're more inclined to give in to that which we have experienced as not causing us harm...or atleast harm than we can handle. You're not alone and I'm glad to know I'm not either. I'm still not sure how much of it for me is due to low iron. I know I've built my levels up enough to where it's not dangerously low but it's not where it should be for sure. I want to chew when I'm stressed out too or just bored. So there can be a psychological component as well that fuels the need to keep it up.

Wow! This is exactly what I crave. The tires,fresh lumber,could inhale everyday!