As reported by the Institutes of Health’s, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are over 400 types of anemia. This condition is very common, currently affecting 3.5 million Americans. Young children, women, and those with chronic diseases are the most susceptible to anemia.
This blood condition develops when the blood has a lower number of healthy red blood cells than normal. It can also occur in a case of lack of hemoglobin, which is the main part of red blood cells and attaches to oxygen. So, if you have low red blood cell count or your hemoglobin is low or abnormal, the body fails to receive enough oxygen and starts showing symptoms like fatigue, which is extremely common in anemic individuals .Most cases are mild and easy to treat while some forms can be life-threatening.
Treating anemia is of utmost importance because some severe forms of it can even damage the heart, brain, and other vital organs in the body. The causes of anemia can be divided into three groups. They are as follows:
– Anemia caused by blood loss
– Anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells
– Anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production
Signs & symptoms of anemia
The symptoms of anemia usually take to develop and feeling weak and tired are the most common ones. Other symptoms include:
– Pale skin
– Shortness of breath
– Low body temperature
– Irregular heart rate
– Inability to complete normal daily activities
– Cold hands and feet
– Chest or abdominal pain
Risk Factors for Anemia
Both men and women from all age, racial and ethnic groups can be affected by anemia. The major risk factors for anemia are the following:
– Long term infections
– Family history of inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia
– Long term illness such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and rheumatoid arthritis
– History of intestinal disorders (such as Crohn’s or Celiac Disease) that affect the absorption of nutrients
– Diet that is low in minerals, vitamins. Especially one lacking in iron, folic acid, and B12
– Blood loss from a surgery
– Heavy menstrual periods
Nutrition Tips for Anemia
In case iron absorption is a problem for you, you should avoid foods which interfere with iron absorption, such as eggs, milk, bran, and caffeinated drinks.
Moreover, it is recommended to cook in cast iron cookware as the cooked food absorbs iron from the pan itself.
Blackstrap molasses is known as nutritional powerhouse and it has been long used as “blood builder”. In fact, only a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 3.5 mg of iron.
If your anemia is caused by some nutritional deficiency, you should consult your doctor and develop an adequate diet based on your nutritional needs.
|Foods Rich in Iron||Foods Rich in B12||Foods Rich in Folic Acid|
|Grass fed beef||Beef Liver||Dark Leafy Greens|
|Dark Chocolate||Beef||Beans, Peas & lentils|
|Beans||Whey Powder||Brussel Sprouts|
|Molasses||Eggs||Nuts & Seeds|
|Kale||Fois Gras (Goose Liver Pate)||Corn|