What is Anemia?
Anemia is not a disease. It is a health condition that affects an individual with insufficient red blood cells (RBCs). Because RBCs carry oxygen to different parts of the body, a decrease in their number can have serious consequences.
Who is at Risk for Anemia?
Children and women – especially menstruating women – are known to be at risk for anemia. The Mayo Clinic calls anemia the “tired blood’ condition. About one-fifth of North Americans have iron-deficient blood.
Anemia: Symptoms and Risk Factors
People who are anemic usually exhibit any one or a combination of these symptoms:
2. Pain in the chest and difficulties in breathing
4. Cold and numb hands/feet
5. Pale skin
Risk factors are a poor diet low in iron. People with low folate are at risk. The body needs a constant supply of iron, protein and vitamins to function at optimal level.
People with intestinal disorders are also at risk for anemia, particularly those who are suffering from Crohn’s Disease or Celiac. Menstruating and pregnant women are also at risk. Those who have a family history of anemia are also vulnerable.
Many types of anemia cannot be prevented. The most important thing is to follow a healthy diet rich in iron, folate and Vitamin B-12.
What are the Types of Anemia?
There are at least six to eight types of anemia. Below are the most common:
- Sickle cell anemia – this is very common and it affects people of African, Middle East, Mediterranean and Indian descent. One out of 400 African American babies will be born with this condition. For more information visit SCDAA.
- Aplastic anemia – a condition where the bone marrow can no longer produce blood cells. It is a serious condition but fortunately, is not as common as the other types of anemia.
- Anemia of chronic disease – people who have HIV, TB, cancer or kidney and liver disease can contract anemia because of their weak immune system. But once the chronic disease is stabilized, the anemia goes away.
Natural Supplements for Anemia
Your doctor can prescribe medication or refer you to a nutritionist who can design a diet rich in iron and protein. You may also want to consider taking supplements, which are a great natural remedy for anemia.
- B12 vitamins – A product called Unique B-12 can help your body produce more folic acid and is especially recommended for vegetarians. This is a powerful sublingual B12 that will absorb better than most vitamin B 12 supplements.
- Hemo-Chelate iron supplements – Hemo-Chelate Iron and B complex is a supplement containing the B vitamins – B1, B2, B6 and B12, plus vitamin C, folic acid, Niacinamide, and pantothenic acid with iron. It is an excellent nutritional support for healthy RBCs.
- Feotron Iron with B – Feotron contains iron. Iron is a trace mineral and plays a key role in supplying oxygen to body cells. As a dietary supplement, it contains vitamins C, D, folic acid thiamine, riboflavin, niacinamide, copper, iron and manganese.
- intraMAX – powerful liquid multivitamin supplying over 415 nutrients.
Nutrients for Anemia
Anemia is an ailment that creates a shortage of red blood cells, which are crucial to the body’s biological functions. Red blood cells are responsible for shuttling oxygen to the tissues and keeping them properly nourished. With a complete and nutritious diet anemia can be relatively easy to avoid, but you have to make sure that you get plenty of folate, vitamin B12, and iron.
Folate and vitamin B12 are two very important B vitamins that have functions throughout the body. Vitamin B12 promotes healthy nervous function, and when levels of B12 become low depression and fatigue can become regular occurrences. Vitamin B12 is generally found in animal products, like beef, eggs, mutton, and fish. Vegetarians may want to consider supplementing with Vitamin B12. A lack of folate often has similar symptoms as a B12 deficiency, and folate can be found in spinach, asparagus, wheat germ, and beans.
Iron is probably the most important nutrient when trying to reduce the risk of anemia. Iron deficiencies can quickly lead to anemia, and the development of anemia can be jump started by a loss of blood. Iron can be consumed through diet in foods, like tuna, whole grains, grape juice, and pumpkin seeds. When trying to improve iron levels there are a number of foods that can be eaten to improve its absorption, and consuming plenty of vitamin C and protein can be a great way to do this. Absorption is also easier on the body when the consumption of iron is spaced out during the day.
Supplementing with spirulina may also help to reduce the risk of anemia. Spirulina is an incredible food that is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. It provides the body with vitamin B12, iron, and protein. Spirulina further supports the blood by supplying it with hycocyanin. Hycocyanin helps the bone marrow to create new blood cells, so it can be very beneficial.
Anemia is a potentially very dangerous condition, but making the proper dietary decisions can help to fight it off. Eating foods that are rich in folate, vitamin B12, and iron are essential, and to further support the red bloods cells a spirulina supplement can also be taken.