Iron deficiency leads to clinical symptoms of anemia. Here are described the causes and natural treatment.

What is anemia?

Anaemia is a clinical condition in which a person's blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells, the cells responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide between the body tissues and lungs. Symptoms of anemia can also occur if the red cells in the blood does not have enough hemoglobin, a protein that allows cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the body and gives blood its red color.

What are the symptoms of anemia?

People with anemia often feel tired and weak. Furthermore, they may experience symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Dizziness

  • Chest or abdominal pain

  • Headaches

  • Cold or numb in hands and / or feet

  • Low body temperature

  • Pale skin

  • Irritability

  • Stools black, tarry stools, or blood (due to loss of blood)

  • Weight loss

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)

These symptoms cause that the organ tissues throughout the body may not receive optimal oxygen supply, and as a result the heart has to pump harder to meet the cycle and deliver as much oxygen-rich blood available as possible.

What are the causes?

There are several different classifications of anemia, depending on the cause and characteristics observed Iron Deficiencywhen red blood cells are examined under a microscope. Red blood cells are continuously formed in the bone marrow and usually have a shelf life of 120 days in the bloodstream. Anything that speeds up its loss or delay its production can result in anemia.

  • Blood loss: This is the most common cause of anemia, and occurs when a person loses a significant amount of red blood cells through bleeding. Blood loss can be caused by heavy menstrual periods, surgery, traumatic injury, cancer, or bleeding in the digestive or urinary tract.
  • Low red blood cell production: The body requires certain nutrients to produce red blood cells, including iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. If a person does not receive sufficient intake of these nutrients, an insufficient number of new cells resulting in anemia is generated. Chronic kidney disease, cancer, infections, radiation, certain medications, and even pregnancy can also suppress the normal activities of the bone marrow and decrease red blood cell production.
  • Increased red blood cell destruction: Some inherited blood disorders can destroy red blood cells faster than the rhythm at the body can produce . These conditions include sickle cell anemia and thalassemia.

Natural Treatment of anemia: diet

The natural treatment of anemia focuses on diet modification and use of dietary supplements.

There are food sources of iron and some nutrient which also facilitate absorption and bioavailability in the intestine.

The best food sources of iron are:

  • Liver: The liver beef is rich in iron and vitamin B12 and a variety of other important minerals. If you can not consume beef liver, be sure to include organic meats from grass-fed animals.

  • Molasses: Take one tablespoon daily, as it is very rich in iron.

  • Brewer's yeast: It has high in folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. Add it to cereal, salads or juices.

Facilitators of iron absorption:

Some foods contain a type of iron (non-heme) that is absorbed in smaller amounts. Such is the case of fortified cereals, legumes, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables. In this case, it is recommended that you add to your food a facilitator. Facilitators are nutrients that increase the absorption and bioavailability of dietary iron. Among them are:

  • Foods rich in vitamin C: Vitamin C helps iron absorption. If you are eating a food source of iron, try to include a source of vitamin C at the same meal, like tomatoes, peppers, or strawberries.

  • Green leafy vegetables: These provide a significant amount of iron and folic acid. Raw spinach is high in oxalic acid that can reduce the absorption of iron; however, steaming spinach reduce the concentration of this acid. Other green leafy vegetables are steaming kale and broccoli.

Foods to Avoid

Chocolate: Chocolate contains a substance that removes iron from your body, so it is best to avoid them when you're trying to increase your iron levels.

Bran: It is high in insoluble fiber that traps and removes iron during digestion.

Conventional milk: Calcium binds with iron in food and can lead to poor absorption.

Sodas or soft drinks: These drinks are high in sugar and low in nutrients and block the absorption of iron.

Coffee and black tea: Drinking too much coffee can block iron absorption, so limit it to no more than one cup per day.

Natural remedies against anemia

Iron (25-30 mg daily): Choose a supplement with chelated iron that is well absorbed  in general. Take it with a source of vitamin C and avoid calcium supplements. Iron supplements can cause constipation, therefore, it is important to confirm that anemia is caused by iron deficiency. Ask your doctor for a blood test before increase your iron intake.

Vitamin B12 (1000 mcg daily): A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia, and because B12 is soluble in water, it is usually not harmful when is taken as a supplement. Your doctor may recommend higher levels of vitamin B12 if a deficiency is found.

Folic acid (800-1200 mcg daily): Folate deficiency can also lead to anemia. Women of childbearing age who take birth control pills are especially prone to folate deficiency. Your doctor may recommend a higher dose indicated here.

Vitamin C (500 mg daily): Vitamin C helps iron absorption.

Green powder: Choose a supplement with spirulina, vitamin B12, dandelion, and folic acid.

Essential oils for anemia

The essential oil of cinnamon helps maintain glucose levels in blood so it can help with some symptoms of anemia. Ginger oil and citrus oils can also improve symptoms of anemia, as they can improve iron absorption.

Consider these natural remedies to treat anemia to see quick results.

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