Anemia • Natural home treatments

Anemia is a medical condition in which a person's red blood cell count is deficient. This can be a decrease in production or an increase in the destruction of red blood cells.

Anemia - Image of Red Blood Cells

Anemia can be directly or indirectly responsible for other diseases because lowered oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood leads to poor oxygenation of tissues, which in turn weakens the immune system. Alternatively, it can be secondary to an underlying disease.

 WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Some or all of these may be present

  • Acute internal bleeding can result in dizziness, confusion and even loss of consciousness.
  • Altered taste
  • Blood pressure, low
  • Brittle nails
  • Bruise easily
  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Dizzy spells
  • Ears, ringing
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Jaundice
  • Malaise
  • Memory loss
  • Paleness
  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath

PREVALENCE

WHO reports that globally, anemia affects 1.62 billion people, or 24.8% of the population.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Diagnosis is achieved primarily by blood testing. Treatment or further diagnostics will depend on the type of anemia you have:

  • Blood loss
  • Bone marrow disease
  • Decreased red blood cell production
  • Destruction of red blood cells
  • Genetics
  • HIV
  • Iron deficiency
  • Lack of B12
  • Lack of Folate

Treatment may be one or more of the following:

  • B12 supplements or injections
  • Blood transfusion
  • Colonoscopy
  • Medications
  • Oxygen
  • Supplements
  • Surgery

SELF TREATMENT

Whether or not self=treatment is a reasonable route depends on the underlying cause of your anemia. The scope of this entry does not allow an exhaustive study. Before you attempt any home treatment, be sure to find out through testing the cause of your condition. It may be crucial to be under the care of a physician.

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent starting point. There also are “Anemia Diets.”

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone Broth
  • Vitamin C-rich foods aid in iron absorption

Dietary sources of B12 if your anemia is associated with deficiency of B12:

  • Beef
  • Cheese
  • Clams
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Mackerel
  • Milk (dairy products can interfere with iron absorption)
  • Oysters
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Salmon

Dietary sources of folate if that is your deficiency:

  • Avocado
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dairy products (but these can interfere with iron absorption)
  • Fruits, fresh
  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Papaya
  • Vegetables, cruciferous
  • Vegetables, green leafy

Dietary sources of iron (if you need iron) and foods that aid absorption of iron:

  • Fruits high in iron (watermelon, prunes, raisins, currants)
  • Beans
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Egg yolk
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Red meat
  • Seafood
  • Soy, fermented
  • Tomato paste
  • Vitamin C-rich foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

The following may interfere with the absorption of iron so do not consume them at the same time as you eat iron-rich foods or take iron supplements. Some, like smoking and drinking alcohol, you shouldn’t do at all.

  • Alcohol (interferes with folate absorption)
  • Almonds
  • Antacids
  • Black teas
  • Calcium
  • Cashews
  • Chocolate/Cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Grapes or any tannin0containing substance.
  • Green tea
  • Pesticides
  • Phytate-rich foods (i.e. legumes)
  • Processed sugars (blood sugar can contribute to anemia)
  • Red Wine
  • Rices
  • Smoking (can actually cause anemia)
  • Soy (non-fermented)
  • Spinach
  • Vitamin C supplements (take at different times than iron supplements or iron-rich foods)
  • Vitamin E
  • Walnuts
  • Zinc

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Aloe vera juice
  • Herbal green drinks
  • Nettle tea

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Alfalfa
  • Bilberry
  • Burdock root
  • Cherry
  • Chives
  • Dandelion
  • Dong quai
  • Gentian
  • Ginseng
  • Goldenseal
  • Hawthorn berry
  • Horsetail
  • Linden flower
  • Mint
  • Mullein
  • Nettle
  • Oregon grape root
  • Parsley
  • Red raspberry
  • Seaweed
  • Shepherd’s purse
  • Yellow dock
  • Turmeric
  • Watercress
  • Wild blackberry leaf
  • Yellowroot

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath.

  • Angelica root
  • Black pepper
  • Ginger
  • Ginseng
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Ylang ylang

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

Iron supplements (if you really need them) taken with orange juice to aid absorption. Also best taken with food to avoid side effects.

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupuncture – https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/563-acupunctureceusbloodironst36
  • Ayurveda – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5822980/
  • Biofeedback – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6330774
  • Chinese Medicine – https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2019/8796234/
  • Earthing – https://www.barefoothealing.com.au/n/how-earthing-may-help-reverse-anemia-disorders/5853
  • Homeopathy (https://www.drhomeo.com/homeopathic-treatment/homeopathic-medicines-anemia/)
  • Meditation for a calm mind

CAUTIONS

  • Have a blood test and consult a doctor before taking iron supplements. Not everyone needs iron supplements and iron overload cause as much distress as having too little.
  • There are many different causes for anemia; some may require medical treatment.

PREVENTION

  • A healthy immune system
  • A wholesome varied diet
  • Regular exercise.
  • Use natural household products rather than chemicals.
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