A deficiency in the total number of red blood cells within the blood or the lack of sufficient hemoglobin-which is the oxygen carrying pigment-in the cells leads to a serious medical condition known as anemia. Oxygen does not reach the required organs in sufficient quantities during the condition of anemia-as a result of low oxygen, the person begins to suffer from physical weakness and persistent fatigue ensues.
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The condition can become extremely life threatening and lethal if it is left untreated for a long period of time, this is despite the fact that the disease may have affected the person for a very long time and any symptoms may not have appeared at all-most symptoms tend to be very mild.
Diagnosis is essential if you ever suspect that you are anemic, the best option in such cases is to see your doctor immediately for a test-which will explain the underlying causes and evaluate symptoms. On the basis of the results obtained from the diagnosis-various treatments will be advised, these treatments must be strictly followed.
The most common cause of anemia is a deficiency in the essential mineral iron, this is brought about by a gradual and prolonged loss of blood, the constant loss of blood will lead to a complete depletion of the iron stores in the body and cause anemia. A direct result of this loss of iron is that the hemoglobin levels in the body begin to fall away.
The anemia due to a deficiency of the essential mineral iron is often seen in menstruating women, and this form of the condition particularly affects those women with unusually heavy periods-a lot of blood is lost during such menstrual cycles and the diet may not be sufficiently rich in iron to compensate for the loss.
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Anemia due to iron deficiency can, however, affect both men and women-especially when they suffer from any type of condition or disorder which involves persistent and slow bleeding. Such disorders as long-term hemorrhoids, the presence of rectal polyps, or even ulcers can all lead to eventual anemia because of the blood loss.
Other physical conditions such as stomach or colon cancers can also play a role in inducing anemia in the person. Factors such as the long term use of drugs like aspirin or other medications such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), example ibuprofen can also induce anemia in a person.
The real cause of iron deficiency anemia is a simple lack of iron in the diet of the person concerned, this is despite the fact that so many types of foods are fortified with iron, and most normal diets tend to be really rich in this important mineral.
A rarer form of anemia can also come about because of the deficiency of the vitamin B12 in the body of the person, this form of the condition is known as pernicious anemia-this form of the condition can also come about because of the deficiency in folic acid. The production of red blood cells requires the presence of both nutrients as these are essential components in the synthesis of the RBCs in the body.
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The demographic group which is the most vulnerable of contracting this form of the condition are the alcoholics, people with some types of digestive disorders, smokers, vegetarians in general, and those individuals who are age fifty or above. The disease is also fairly common in pregnant or lactating women and such individuals tend to be at a greater risk of contracting the disorder.
This can be because of two factors, one of which is the poor nutrition the woman might be getting from her diet-the second factor may be an inability to absorb these nutrients in sufficient amounts from the normal dietary regimen. Many chronic illnesses and serious disorders such as cancer, the autoimmune disease lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis can all cause some forms of anemia in the individual they affect.
In addition, anemia can also be caused by the presence of hereditary disorders such as sickle-cell anemia, in some cases it may result in individuals who are exposed to a lot of toxic medications, to certain chemicals, or even to sources of radiation over a long period of time.
The underlying cause of the anemia must be determined, before the person starts taking the required supplements. In cases of anemia caused by a deficiency of iron, the importance of seeing a doctor cannot be overemphasized-proper diagnosis is important as such a condition might be caused by the presence of internal bleeding. Blood tests must be taken every other month to check for the efficiency of supplements, especially when a person is advised to take iron or other mineral supplements.
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Supplements of the mineral iron which comes combined with the vitamin C may be the best option if the person suffers from anemia caused by low iron levels in the body. The vitamin C will help in the absorption of the mineral iron-as mentioned the mineral is an essential component of the oxygen binding compound hemoglobin in blood.
A doctor's supervision of the supplemental process is essential especially if the patient is taking iron as supplements over a long period of time-too much iron in the body can become dangerous and the doctor will know the appropriate doses to take on a regular basis.
The herbs and the herbal remedies given here can prove beneficial in the treatment of anemia in affected individuals. Iron is found in sufficient quantities in the yellow dock herb, the absorption rate of this iron from the herb is excellent, however, and this herbal supplement can thus aid in raising the blood iron levels. The seaweed and dulse can also be taken as they are rich in their iron content.
Iron can also be found in herbs such as the dandelion, the burdock, the mint, and the flowers of the linden herb-these herbs can be taken in the form of herbal teas, in tinctures or in capsule form, the use of these herbs may increase the body's ability to absorb iron in proper amounts from the dietary sources as well as from the iron supplements given to the patient.
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The supplements of the essential nutrient vitamin C will prove to be beneficial in all forms of anemia-those caused by the deficiency of vitamin B12 or folic acid as well as that brought about by a deficiency of iron. The presence of this vitamin in the body aids in the absorption of these nutrients from the dietary sources.
Supplements of the vitamin B12 and the folic acid must always be done together and always under medical supervision. This is important as high absorption rates of one compound may be masked by the absorption rates of the other compound. The production of red blood cells within the body is boosted and bolstered by these two vitamins-their deficiency can thus lead to a shortfall in the number of red blood cells.
Multivitamin supplements of the B12 and the folic acid taken as a matter of course in the daily supplement will be enough to prevent a recurrence of anemia, following the initial elimination of the disorder from the body and the ruling out of other absorption problems.
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Make sure that your diet contains foods that are very rich in the essential mineral iron-such dietary sources of iron include foods such as dried beans, prune juice, liver and red meat, all dried fruits and different nuts, and shellfish of all types. In addition, the diet must also contain foods which are rich in the folic acid-these include a lot of citrus fruits, vegetables like the asparagus, the spinach, all kinds of mushrooms, liver and soybeans, and wheat germ.
Foods such as liver, different shellfish, meats like lamb and beef, dairy products like cheese, all kinds of fish and eggs also contain the vitamin B12 in good quantities and these must also be included in the diet.
Dandelion, one tsp. of fresh dandelion juice or dandelion tincture with fresh water two times daily. Dandelion should be taken with yellow dock herb to enhance absorption of iron.
Yellow dock, 1,000 mg every morning, or take half a tsp. tincture of yellow dock two times daily.
Folic acid / Vitamin B12, 400 mcg folic acid, and 1,000 mcg B12 in sublingual form two times daily for period of 4 weeks. Vitamin B12 and folic acid always take together.
Vitamin C, 500 mg thrice daily. Take vitamin C with food to enhance absorption of iron from foods.
Iron, 30 mg thrice daily with food.