Anemia Symptoms and Top 8 Natural Treatments
Anemia is a condition wherein your body does not produce enough red blood cells or hemoglobin, which results in lack of oxygen that leads to fatigue and other health complications. When the different cells in your body cannot receive adequate oxygen, the organs cannot function properly. It is a common health condition that has affected millions of people in the US and around the world. Usually, you experience fatigue and get easily tired when you are anemic, but there are also other symptoms that you might experience. This article will help you know more about anemia, its symptoms, and the best natural treatments you can do at home to avoid being anemic.
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The symptoms of anemia largely depend on the type of anemia and what caused the onset of anemia. If it is only a mild anemia, you might not notice any symptom at all. Here are the symptoms that are common to all types of anemia:
- You experience fatigue easily and lose energy fast – a sudden and unexplained loss of energy is a very common symptom of anemia. People with iron or vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue because the body is low in hemoglobin. When you experience unexplained loss of energy, consult your doctor right away because sudden fatigue can be caused by so many health problems.
- You experience rapid heartbeat, especially during exercise – when there is a decrease in the oxygen being delivered to various organs of the body, it will require the cardiovascular system to work harder, especially the heart. This results in faster heartbeat rate, which can be damaging if not treated.
- You are lightheaded and always out of breath, especially during exercise – being constantly out of breath can negatively affect your normal daily routine. You cannot keep your energy levels up most of the time. You also experience being lightheaded when you suddenly stand up or after a strenuous physical activity.
- Dizziness – experiencing sudden lightheadedness and dizziness is a sign of an early-stage anemia. The main culprit is the lack of hemoglobin or low red blood cell count.
- You have pale skin, which is a common sign of an anemic person – the pale complexion is a sign that you have a decreased blood flow. Pale skin is common in chronic anemia when the body has iron deficiency. Chronic anemia can also be caused by hypothyroidism, bone cancer, and kidney failure.
- Experiencing leg cramps – in mild anemia, leg cramps only happen after exercise or any physical exertion. In severe anemia, leg cramps can happen even if the person is resting or not doing anything.
- You are having difficulty in concentrating – inadequate supply of hemoglobin can negatively affect your mood and ability to concentrate. Anemia also means there is limited vitamins and minerals in the body to produce red blood cells. This will cause certain bodily functions to slow down, causing changes in mood and irritability. You can no longer focus, concentrate and make smart decisions because of this abnormal condition in the body.
- You have insomnia or difficulty sleeping – a study monitoring patients at a hospital found that iron deficiency can cause sleeping difficulties and insomnia. When the patients were introduced to iron therapy, the restlessness and insomnia were lessened.
Here are the symptoms caused by different types of Anemia
Symptoms of anemia caused by lack of iron
- Mouth sores and cracks at the corner.
- The nails have an upward curvature, called koilonychia
- Has a craving to eat strange things and substances like dirt or paper.
Symptoms of anemia caused by lack of vitamin B12
- Losing your sense of touch
- A tingling and prickling sensation in your hands and feet
- Difficulty in walking
- Stiffness in your arms and legs causing you to act clumsily
Symptoms of anemia caused by the chronic destruction of red blood cells
- Yellowish skin and eyes called jaundice
- Brown or red colored urine
- Have symptoms of gallstone
- Leg ulcers
Symptoms of sickle cell anemia
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Delayed development and growth in children
- Prone to infection
- Experience episodes of severe pain in the joints, limbs, and abdomen
Symptoms of Anemia caused by chronic lead poisoning
- Abdominal pain
- Blue and black line found on the gums
If you notice any of the signs of anemia such as persistent fatigue, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty breathing, you should consult your doctor immediately. If anemia runs in the family, you should also seek the doctor’s advice, especially if you are planning to have a child.
Top 8 Natural Treatments for Anemia
Anemia can be treated using natural methods. Your goal should be to treat any vitamin or mineral deficiency and rebuild the supply of red blood cells in your body. Usually, this can be achieved by using dietary supplements and other natural remedies. These 8 natural treatments for anemia are proven to be effective and they can counteract the symptoms of anemia.
Increasing Your Iron Intake
If you are suffering from anemia caused by iron deficiency, you should consult your doctor about any iron supplement pills to take and what iron-rich foods are most suitable for you. Iron can be found in so many foods such as green leafy vegetables, seafood, turkey and chicken, legumes, prunes, raisins, liver, grass-fed beef, squash and pumpkin seeds, lamb, and quinoa. Aside from increasing your intake of iron-rich foods, you can also boost your body’s ability to absorb iron. You can boost your iron absorption by consuming both heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron comes from animal products, while non-heme iron comes from plants. Consuming more vitamin C is another way to boost your iron absorption.
Increasing Your Intake of Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
If your anemia is caused by vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency, you can consume more foods that are rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid. You should include these B12 foods in your diet: Organic meat such as pasture raised chicken and grass-fed beef, Unprocessed dairy products, Broccoli, Peas, Egg yolks, Brussel sprouts, Raw milk. Here are the best food sources of folate: Grass-fed beef, Lentils, Spinach, Avocado, Almonds, Beetroot, Cabbage.
Consume More Fermented Foods
Fermented foods can provide natural probiotics that promote good bacteria or microbes. These probiotics promote healthier gut lining, which results in better absorption of iron, vitamin B12, and folate. Restoring the good bacteria in your gut will provide you with a stronger immune system and reduced inflammation. Fermented foods can also help increase the vitamin content of your food and boost vitamin absorption. Here are some of the best fermented and probiotic-rich foods that you can include in your diet: Sauerkraut, Coconut, Kefir, Raw cheeses, Homemade yogurt, Goat milk kefir.
Eat More Liver
The liver may not be too appetizing for most people, but it is one of the healthiest foods that can treat anemia. The liver is rich in iron, protein, all B vitamins and folate, and minerals such as zinc, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and chromium. You can try organic beef liver or chicken liver that you can buy in your local market or food store. All the compounds present in the liver can help support the production of red blood cells, eliminate iron and vitamin B12 deficiency, and decrease inflammation. You can find a lot of delicious recipes that incorporate chicken or beef liver as one of the ingredients.
Being frequently stressed out can have a negative effect on your overall health. Chronic anxiety and emotional stress are bad for your spleen and liver, which depletes your body of vitamins and minerals. You need to slow down and de-stress during the weekends to help your body recover from the negative effects of stress. You can enroll in a yoga class to learn meditation, engage in sports and outdoor recreational activities, or simply just have fun once in a while to defeat stress.
Have a Healthier Diet
It is very much possible to avoid anemia by just following a healthy diet. There are foods that contain the right vitamins and minerals to strengthen your body against anemia. Increasing your intake of foods rich in vitamin C can help boost iron absorption. When eating foods high in iron, try to mix them with vitamin C foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, or peppers. Add more green leafy vegetables to your diet. These vegetables are known to have high amounts of iron and folic acid. Instead of using sugar, you can use natural sweeteners such as honey or blackstrap molasses. The blackstrap molasses contain essential nutrients such as iron and manganese that can help boost the supply of red blood cells in the body. You can include Brewer’s yeast into your diet by adding it to your juice, salad, or cereals. It is very high in folic acid, iron, and vitamin B12, which makes it an essential ingredient when overcoming anemia.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Having low stomach acid can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, including iron and vitamin B12. With iron deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency, the body is at risk of developing anemia. In order to improve stomach acid, you can drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 4 to 6 ounces of water before every meal. The added acidity can help in the proper breakdown of food and food sterilization, which leads to a more efficient absorption of nutrients.
Keep Your Spleen Healthy
Your spleen is very important because it is responsible for your red blood cell production. If the spleen is not healthy, then it can cause several health problems including anemia. There are specific foods that can help keep your spleens healthy such as squash, romaine lettuce, and green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and chard. Also, bitter foods are known to be very nourishing to the spleen. So keep your spleen healthy if you want to avoid the development of anemia.