Anemia is a health condition in which your red blood count reduces to that essential for the body to transport oxygen from the lungs to other body parts. Anemic patients usually have less oxygen in their blood than normal beings. As a result, most of these patients usually feel shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, irregular heartbeats, and other signs.
It is not specific to an age group or race, in fact, even infants can develop anemia. However, some people are more likely to get the illness than others; these include those with autoimmune disorders, cancer, or heavy menstruation.
Supplements or medicines that encourage the production of additional red blood cells in the blood are typically used in the treatment of mild to moderate anemia. In more serious situations, surgery or a blood transfusion can be required.
How Serious is Anemia?
Anemia comes in a variety of forms. Each has a unique cause and course of action. Certain types, such as the mild anemia that develops during pregnancy, don’t pose a serious threat. However, certain forms of anemia could be a sign of a dangerous illness.
Common Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of anemia may vary based on the severity of the condition and the pace of development. If you are having mild anemia, chances are high that you might not experience any of the below-listed symptoms at all.
Abnormal Pale skin, weakness, or fatigue are some of the initial signs of anemia. As the condition worsens, you might start experiencing other signs, such as:
- Excessive thirst
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid Pulse
- Dry Mouth or Ulcers
- Tongue Swelling
- Brittle or spoon-shaped nails
- Hair Loss
In severe cases, it can be brain damage, lower leg cramps, or breath shortness.
Anemia frequently causes heart-related symptoms, mostly because your heart has to work harder to pump blood that is rich in oxygen to your body. Arrhythmias, irregular heartbeats, heart murmurs, an enlarged heart, and heart failure are just a few examples of these symptoms.
Causes of Anemia
Here are some of the major causes of anemia, including:
- Lacks RBC production – Your body’s capacity to make red blood cells might be lowered by malnutrition or poor food absorption.
- High RBC destruction – Chronic illnesses may interfere with your body’s production of red blood cells or even cause them to be destroyed.
- Blood loss – Anemia can also result from internal bleeding, such as that which occurs in the stomach or intestines, or from blood loss during menstruation.
What are the Risk Factors?
Your chance of developing anemia can be heightened by a number of different illnesses as well as genetic factors, such as:
- Heavy Periods
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Low Iron Diet
- Constant Blood Donation
- Colon cancer
- Autoimmune disorders
- Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)
- Deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection
The origin and severity of your anemia will determine the course of treatment. Supplements and dietary adjustments can be used to treat certain types of anemia. Blood transfusions, bone marrow or blood transplants, or surgery may be necessary for more severe cases of anemia.
In addition to relieving symptoms and enhancing quality of life, the main objectives of treatment are to raise hemoglobin, or red blood cell count, and raise blood oxygen levels. In addition to treating your anemia, other therapy objectives include avoiding consequences like heart or nerve damage.
Most people go in for consuming oral supplements to treat iron deficient anemia. The dosage is determined by your age, iron deficiency, and tolerance for any possible negative effects. This method has the advantage of replenishing your body’s iron stores in just one or two sessions.
Anemia itself can be treated with the same medications that address the underlying cause. In order to alleviate your symptoms, your healthcare professional could modify or substitute your prescription if it is the cause of your anemia.
Your doctor can advise a blood transfusion if you suffer from severe iron deficiency anemia in order to swiftly raise your iron and red blood cell counts. This treatment involves pre- and post-procedural monitoring and typically lasts between one to four hours. Aplastic anemia is also treated with blood transfusions.
Blood and Bone Marrow Transplants
A doctor may advise replacing damaged stem cells in your bone marrow with healthy ones if you have severe aplastic anemia. Before donor stem cells are injected into your body during this process, strong doses of chemotherapy—medications used to treat cancer—and potentially radiation will eliminate any inefficient stem cells. The greatest candidates for this kind of transplant are those whose donors have cell types that are nearly matched. Usually, young adults and children utilize it.
Anemia caused by internal bleeding occasionally necessitates surgery. Surgery to remove the spleen may also be necessary for those with hemolytic anemia because it filters aberrant blood cells. This strategy is not often employed.
What are the Natural Ways to Treat Anemia?
It is true that there are several medicines and supplements that can help in treating anemia. But, here we would like to highlight some natural foods and diet plans that can help create positive results for anemia patients.
For early or mild iron deficiency anemia, increasing the amount of iron-rich foods in the diet is one of the key therapy approaches. Many meals made from plants and animals naturally contain iron. Meat, chicken, fish, and eggs are examples of animal foods that contain heme iron. Plant-based foods include non-heme iron. About 25% of the heme iron and 17% of the non-heme iron in food are absorbed by your body.
Let’s explore the particular meals you require and their benefits for individuals suffering from anemia.
One of the most popular vegetables used by people for curing anemia is beetroot. Beetroot can help increase the iron level in the body naturally and at a faster pace. It is known to increase the hemoglobin blood count to a good extent when drunk on a regular basis. Its consumption is known to further improve the level of oxygen in the body. You can try the ingredient as raw or cook it as per your choice or preference. You can even mash it and drink it as a juice for quick results and a healthy body.
2. Citrus Fruits
Another remedy to increase the blood level in the body is consuming more Vitamin C. It has been found that by regularly consuming Vitamin C or citrus fruits, one can improve the anemic condition and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. More iron is absorbed by the blood with the aid of vitamin C. More iron is absorbed by the blood with the aid of vitamin C. Therefore, we recommend consuming more and more Vitamin C sources, for example orange, sweet lime, lemon, etc.
3. Blackstrap Molasses
Patients with anemia are frequently advised to consume blackstrap molasses due to its natural source of vitamin B, iron, and other vital minerals. By regularly consuming this natural ingredient, you can improve your blood’s ability to produce hemoglobin, which will help you recover from anemia.
One teaspoon of blackstrap molasses added to a mug of hot milk is all you need to make a drink out of it.
Folic acid deficiency in the blood is a common cause of anemia, which occurs when the bloodstream is unable to produce the necessary amount of hemoglobin for an individual’s body. You can manage such medical conditions if you regularly eat spinach. Include this leafy green in your daily diet to reap its benefits immediately. It is a natural source of vitamin B12, folic acid, and other essential nutrients.
Bananas are a great source of iron, potassium, vitamin C, folate, and other essential nutrients that your body needs to produce red blood cells and raise your hemoglobin count. The consumption of green or ripe bananas can significantly raise iron levels.
6. Dates and Raisins
Dates and raisins are great sources of iron and vitamin C. Because vitamin C strengthens the immune system, it facilitates the body’s more effective absorption of iron. Conversely, sweet, plump figs are a great source of iron, vitamin A, magnesium, and folate. Your hemoglobin levels can be raised by eating a handful of soaked figs, dates, and raisins three times a week in the morning.
7. Black Sesame Seeds
Patients with anemia can benefit greatly from black sesame seeds. They are high in iron, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are very important for raising your iron levels. Sesame seed consumption also facilitates the body’s absorption of iron. Before eating the seeds the following morning, you can soak them in half a glass of water and let them sit overnight.
8. Leafy Greens
Leafy Greens are among the best places to get nonheme iron, which is present in plant-based diets. These greens consist of collard greens, spinach, kale, and more! It’s crucial to remember that even though leafy vegetables are a good source of iron, you shouldn’t rely just on them.
Certain forms of anemia, especially those brought on by vitamin or mineral deficits, are avoidable. Some forms of anemia are chronic illnesses that need to be continuously managed and treated. You must consult a doctor if the condition and symptoms worsen.
Iron deficiency anemia can be avoided by eating a diet rich in iron-rich foods, particularly if you pair them with foods high in vitamin C.
Another thing you can do is try to stay away from things that might set you up for anemia. For instance, certain foods or cold temperatures can cause certain types of anemia. If you have hemolytic anemia, you can lower your risk of infection by washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with sick people.
Early treatment can also increase your energy, enable you to engage in more activities, and enhance your general quality of life—particularly if you suffer from mild to moderate anemia.
If you suspect you may have anemia, consult your healthcare professional. People can frequently live long, healthy lives if they receive prompt and appropriate treatment.
For more such health tips and remedies, subscribe to our newsletter.