INTRODUCTION: Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia worldwide. Pica, the ingestion of substances that are inappropriate for consumption, is associated with iron deficiency and may be under-diagnosed. CASE PRESENTATION: A 34-year-old woman presented with iron deficiency anaemia refractory to treatment for more than a decade. The clinical presentation, endoscopic findings and laboratory investigations were consistent with pica. Subsequent geophysical analysis confirmed that the ingested material was kaolin, a negatively charged silicate. CONCLUSION: Prolonged unexplained iron deficiency anaemia should prompt clinicians to remember and inquire about pica. In our patient, this would have averted numerous unnecessary investigations and prevented a decade-long suffering.