Anemia (also referred to as low hemoglobin) is a condition whereby individuals lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. The impact from this often leaves the person feeling tired and weak.
Anemia can be due to a condition present at birth (congenital) or to a condition you develop (acquired). Anemia occurs when your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells. In many cases, anemia has more than one cause.
This can happen if:
- Your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells
- Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced
- Your body destroys red blood cells
Types of Anemia:
There are several forms of anemia, each with its own cause and can be temporary or long term and range from mild to severe. They include:
- Aplastic anemia
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Sickle cell anemia
- Vitamin deficiency anemia
Iron deficiency anemia. This most common type of anemia is caused by a shortage of iron in the body. Your bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin. Without adequate iron, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells.
This type of anemia is common in pregnant women due to lack of iron supplementation. It is also caused by blood loss, such as from heavy menstrual bleeding; an ulcer in the stomach or small bowel; cancer of the large bowel; and regular use of some non-prescription pain relievers such as aspirin, which can cause inflammation of the stomach lining resulting in blood loss. It is important to determine the source of iron deficiency to prevent recurrence of the anemia.
Vitamin deficiency anemia: Besides iron, the body needs folate and vitamin B-12 to produce enough healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and other key nutrients can cause decreased red blood cell production. Some people who consume enough B-12 are not able to absorb the vitamin. This can lead to vitamin deficiency anemia, also known as pernicious anemia.
Anemia of inflammation: This occurs when certain diseases, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease and other acute or chronic inflammatory diseases interfere with the production of red blood cells.
Aplastic anemia: This rare, life-threatening anemia occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. Causes of aplastic anemia include infections, side effects from certain medications, autoimmune diseases, and exposure to toxic chemicals.
Anemias associated with bone marrow disease: Certain diseases such as leukemia and myelofibrosis, can cause anemia by affecting blood production in bone marrow. The effects of these types of cancer and cancer-like disorders vary from mild to life-threatening.
Hemolytic anemias: This group of anemias develops when red blood cells are destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them. Certain blood diseases increase red blood cell destruction. Hemolytic anemia can be inherited or developed later in life.
Sickle cell anemia: This inherited, and sometimes serious condition is a type of hemolytic anemia. It is caused by a defective form of hemoglobin that forces red blood cells to assume an abnormal crescent (sickle) shape. These irregular blood cells die prematurely, resulting in a chronic shortage of red blood cells.
Identifying the Symptoms
Anemia signs and symptoms vary depending on the cause and severity of anemia. Depending on the causes of your anemia, you might have no symptoms.
Signs and symptoms might include:
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
Our Approach to Patients Living with Anemia
At Centre of Alternative Strategies, we use a few different approaches to helping patients suffering from Anemia. These include a nutritional assessment to determine deficiencies, introducing homeopathic remedies, and supplementation.
Homeopathic approach introducing patient’s specific regime of complexes developed by our clinic, and tissue salts. These can, among others, include:
- TS-4(Ferrum phosphoricum)
Many types of anemia cannot be prevented. You can however avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemias by incorporating a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Copper is essential for absorbing iron from the gut. When copper levels are low, the body may absorb less iron. This can cause iron deficiency anemia, a condition in which the body is unable to carry enough oxygen to its tissues, making you weaker and feel tired more easily. Food sources include beef liver, cooked oysters, cooked lobster, cooked lamb liver, cooked squid, dark chocolate, raw oats, sesame seeds roasted, raw cashew nuts, dry roasted sunflower seeds, cooked mushrooms, dry roasted almonds.
- Iron. Iron-rich foods include beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit.
- Folate. This nutrient, and its synthetic form folic acid, can be found in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice.
- Vitamin B-12. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat, dairy products, and fortified cereal and soy products.
- Vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, melons and strawberries. These also help increase iron absorption.
Supplementation can help further make for deficiencies that you may not get fully through diet. These include high quality iron supplements, such as Max Iron and Hemo-Plex capsules.