Mysterious Causes of Mild and Severe Symptoms of Anemia, and Who’s Most at Risk
What causes the symptoms of severe anemia?
There are three types of cells that make up the blood in our bodies: red cells, which contain hemoglobin to carry oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body, white cells which fight infections, and platelets. Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells, or the hemoglobin in them, drops below normal levels and can’t supply the body with the oxygen it needs to function properly, which can result in the severe symptoms listed previously.
The more common causes of this drop in the number of red blood cells, or the hemoglobin in them, are:
A vitamin or iron deficiency
A serious disease
Significant blood loss
Side effects of prescription drugs
Genetic or acquired defects or diseases
So what can you do before you develop the severe symptoms of anemia? Be on the lookout for the more mild symptoms such as:
* loss of concentration
* concave and/or brittle nails
* husky voice
* facial pallor (paleness)
*low iron levels (if you’ve had a blood test)
* poor appetite
You’re Going to Need More Iron During These Circumstances:
* during or after extreme or unusual physical activity
* growth spurts (i.e. during puberty)
* to replace blood loss
* during and after an aggressive autologous blood donation program (during which you donate your own blood for a surgery you’re scheduled to have)
Who’s Most at Risk for the Mild and Severe Symptoms of Anemia?
* Women who lose iron-rich blood every month during menstruation
* People over 65
* Recent surgery patients
* Those with HIV/Aids
* Those with the following: Chronic kidney disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, bleeding ulcers
These Iron-rich Foods Will Help You if You Have Iron Deficiency Anemia:
* red meat, liver, poultry, seafood
* grains, such as: brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, iron-fortified cereals
* vegetables, such as: broccoli, spinach, beets, peas, potatoes, beans, green leafy vegetables
* Blackstrap molasses, dried fruits, nuts, eggs
* tofu, sunflower seeds, soy milk, soy burger
Best Way to Absorb Iron-Rich Foods into Your Body:
* Eat foods rich in iron along with foods rich in vitamin C, such as: citrus, like oranges, or tomatoes, etc. However, make sure that if you eat grapefruit that it doesn’t interfere with any of the medications you may be taking for other conditions.
* Foods with calcium also help to absorb iron, like milk, cheese, dried figs, beans, tofu, broccoli, kale, molasses, raisins, collards, Brussels sprouts, and sesame seeds.
Avoid Eating or Drinking These if You Need the Extra Iron:
** Avoid drinking iron-inhibiting foods like tea with your iron-rich meals, as tea contains tannins that could inhibit iron absorption. (Presumably, herbal teas would be OK).
*** You’ll need to avoid high sugar intake and high fiber diets, and grape juice, plus, too much of certain antacids also interfere with iron absorption.