Natural Foods and Supplements That Help Prevent and Fight Anemia
The first respondent was correct in that you should see a doctor if you have any reason to suspect that you are anemic and listen to his/her advice. There can be other more serious medical conditions which may appear as anemia which won't get diagnosed without proper lab work. In addition, speaking as someone with an auto-immune disorder, if you have issues with chronic anemia it could also be that there is an underlying medical problem which needs to be addressed. Having said that, if you feel confident that this is anemia, there are different types of anemia which should be discussed in order to best understand what changes to your diet or supplemental intake would best help you. Two of the most common types of anemia are iron-deficiency and pernicious anemia (sometimes referred to as B-deficiency anemia). Iron deficiency anemia is fairly common in growing children and in 20% of all women in their childbearing years. Blood loss for women during their menstrual cycles, especially if they have heavier cycles, is frequently the cause. People who have had issues with parasitic infections frequently develop this type of anemia as well. I most recently developed it when I had a bleeding ulcer. Usually the treatment for iron-deficiency anemia involves an iron supplement. As higher doses of iron can cause harm to the digestive tract, new research is showing that smaller amounts of iron can work beautifully. It has been shown that ascorbic acid helps with the absorption of iron and some studies have shown that taking an ascorbic acid supplement with added iron can work rather well. There are many foods which naturally contain iron. These include: Liver; beans; tofu; lean red meats and seafood; certain vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and brussel sprouts. I feel that making these part of your regular diet can help prevent anemia though if you already have anemia, you might want to look at an iron supplement as mentioned above to help reverse it. Pernicious anemia is caused by low levels of vitamin B-12 and is common in vegetarians, especially vegans, as they tend not to eat meats or dairy products. People over age 60 are also more prone to this type of anemia as are people with certain auto-immune disorders. Naturally, having a diet which is rich in B-12 (red meats and dairy in particular) can help prevent this type of anemia, especially as the liver can store B-12 for up to 5 years. B-12 supplements (including B-stress vitamins) can also help reverse this condition. Should you have pernicious anemia and you are not a vegetarian or over age 60, I would strongly suggest talking to your doctor about testing for underlying medical issues. My own auto-immune disorder and being prone to this anemia are why I am no longer a vegetarian. Supplements can work wonders but are never a substitution for a good diet. Still, it may be beneficial to add a good supplement to your diet if for whatever reason you are still having some of these health issues. Often, a multi-vitamin may be all you need. Depending on your lifestyle and health, a vitamin B supplement may also be in order. I found with my own health issues that I had very good luck taking a pre-natal vitamin as it had the types of vitamins in the amounts I needed. Having said that, not all multi-vitamins (or pre-natals) are created equal. It is important to remember that many vitamins and minerals need other vitamins and minerals in order to be absorbed into the body. In addition, capsules and caplets often don't get absorbed as well as, say, liquids or powders mixed in liquids. Just because a capsules contain a certain amount of a vitamin or mineral doesn't mean that amount is what will be absorbed in the body. This is another reason why a proper diet is the most beneficial. Good luck in your quest and I hope this information has helped.
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