What’s Anemia? Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments

What’s Anemia Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments

Definition

It’s hard to believe that America, a country with one of the highest standards of living in the world, has over 20 million people with unhealthy diet-induced anemia and 30% more diet-related protein and fat deficiencies than any other country in the world.

Most people understand that anemia is caused by a lack of iron in the bloodstream, but the reality is that anemia is characterized by a lack of red blood cell hemoglobin.

What's Anemia?
What’s Anemia?

Which decreases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to our cells and remove carbon dioxide. In this article, we’re going to discuss types of anemia.

Types of Anemia

  1. Genetically checked
    Anemia is a genetic disease that is pass down from generation to generation.

a) Thalassmia

i) Thalassmia minor
It is the most common anemia in people of Mediterranean descent. This is the mild case of anemia. The blood cells are smaller than normal blood cells and die easily, which puts stress on the reproduction of new red blood cells as there are not enough new blood cells to replace the lost red blood cells.

ii) Thalassmia major
Thalassmia major is also know as Cooley’s anemia. It is a hereditary disease that affects the production of normal hemoglobin. Thalassmia major is a fatal disease without frequent blood transfusions. People with this type of anemia may not survive because iron builds up in the heart and other organs, causing heart failure.

b) Aplastic anemia

This is one of the deadliest and rarest cases of anemia. For some reason, the marrow bone that makes red blood cells is not working properly, or it may be caused by an autoimmune disease that causes white blood cells to attack the bone marrow.

c) Sickle Cell anemia

This is a serious, life-threatening hereditary form of anemia that mainly affects people of African descent. Sickle cell anemia results from a lack of hemoglobin, which makes red blood cells sticky, stiff, and more fragile, resulting in a curve and sickle shape and restricting blood flow to our bodies.

  1. Lack of iron anemia Iron is the most important mineral in the blood and works with zinc and copper to increase the levels of oxygen and blood flow to our blood, to nourish the cells of our body and to remove carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. Iron is a difficult mineral to absorb without ingesting it with vitamin C. Most of the iron in our body is wast.

3 Folic Acid Deficiency and Vitamin B12 Anemia (Pernicious Anemia)

Folic acid and vitamin B12 are important for red blood cell reproduction caused by excessive drinking of alcohol and certain use of certain medications such as oral contraceptives or cancer drugs. People who only eat cooked foods are at the highest risk of folic acid deficiency and vitamin B12 anemia.

  1. Chronic blood loss anemia
    This type of anemia is due to a wide variety of chronic conditions, including hemorrhoids, cancer, menstruation, and stomach ulcers.
  2. Hemolytic anemia
    In this case, the destruction of old red blood cells exceeds the production of new blood cells caused by defective hemoglobin synthesis or trauma in the arteries, or by antibodies produced by the immune system that damage the red blood cells.

III. Causes of Anemia

  1. Hemolysis
    Hemolysis is anemia caused by the breakdown of red blood cells as a result of immune reactions, as well as toxins and poisons. Treatments are hemodialysis or surgery.
  2. Decreased production of red blood cells by the bone marrow
    Bone marrow is a soft fat tissue find in the bones of the body. When the bone marrow becomes defective or malfunctioning, it leads to an abnormality in the production of mature blood cells, resulting in decreased red blood cell production or rapid red blood cell loss.
  3. Loss of blood
    Blood loss can be due to very heavy menstrual periods. Women can become anemic if they ignore the needs of their monthly menstrual cycle because their blood rises and falls. Hence, more blood nutrition is require to counteract blood loss during menstruation. Certain health problems can also contribute to iron loss, including chronic bleeding gums, hemorrhoids or ulcers, and chronic ulcers.
  4. Chronic illness or inflammatory anemia
    Inflammatory anemia is often very similar to iron deficiency anemia, caused by high levels of ferritin, which blocks the release of iron in cells into the bloodstream, or high levels of iron transferin. Moreover, resent study shows that inflammation appears to affect other important elements of iron metabolism as well, as inflammation causes the liver to produce more hepcidin, which blocks the ferropotin to release iron.
  5. Cancer therapy
    Cancer treatment such as chemotherapy can reduce the production of red blood cells in the bone, which means that less oxygen is carried in the bloodstream to all parts of our body cells.
  6. Excessive alcohol consumption
    Alcohol is a stimulant. Excessive drinking of alcohol can lead to vitamin deficiency, anemia, and inflammatory anemia. It is recommend that men have no more than two drinks per day and that women limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day.
  7. Smoking
    Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream and blocks the absorption of vital nutrients like folic acid and vitamin C, which increases the risk of vitamin deficiency anemia.
Causes of Anemia
Causes of Anemia

IV. Symptoms of Anemia

  1. Fatigue
    Fatigue is a common symptom in people with anemia, where the low number of red blood cells in the bloodstream causes less oxygen to travel to the tissues of the body.
  2. Weakness
    Since the bloodstream cannot provide enough oxygen and nourishment for our body tissues, it impairs the normal function of the organs and leads to weakness in anemia patients.
  3. Fainting and Dizziness
    Our brains need protein and fat to function on a daily basis. It also needs oxygen to feed its cells. When there aren’t enough red blood cells to carry oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the cells, it can lead to fainting.
  4. Shortness of breath
    Since there is never enough oxygen in the bloodstream, the reaction of our lungs breathes faster, so that enough oxygen gets into our body tissues, causing shortness of breath.
  5. Palpitations
    People with anemia have less oxygen in their blood. In order to provide enough oxygen to nourish the cells of our body, their heart has to work harder, which leads to palpitations.
  6. Pale complexion
    Pale complexions are cause a lack of iron. Iron is essential for the reproduction of our blood cells to replace the breakdown of the old ones. Moreover, Iron deficiency leads to low red blood cells in the bloodstream, which leads to a pale color in our skin.
  7. Difficulty Concentrating
    Difficulty concentrating due to iron deficiency results in fewer new red blood cells being produced to replace the breakdown of the old ones, resulting in less oxygen being delivered to certain regions of the brain cells, making it difficult to concentrate.
  8. Excessive Menstruation
    Excessive menstruation is characterized by the loss of abnormal amounts of blood during menstruation. It is caused by iron deficiency anemia in women as a result of the massive breakdown of old red blood cells.

A. Treatment Of Anemia with Herbs

Treatment Of Anemia
Treatment Of Anemia
  1. Dandelion roots
    The dandelion is a biennial herb that grows wild in most of the world. Dandelions contain a lot of iron and B-vitamin complex. It has used in Chinese medicines for many generations to treat anemia due to deficiency in folic acid, iron and vitamin B12 by increasing the production of hydrochloric acid, resulting in better food intake.
  2. Gentian roots
    Gentian root has use to treat digestive disorders in Europe for centuries. moreover, the bitter properties of gentian stimulate the digestive system and facilitate the absorption of iron and other nutrients.
  3. Yellow dock
    The yellow dock is use in herbal remedies to treat constipation and other digestive problems. It contains high levels of iron and bioflavonoids. In addition to strengthening the capillaries, it also helps improve our digestive systems in absorbing protein, iron, and other nutrients, which is vital for people with nutritional deficiency anemia.
  4. Blackstrap molasses
    This is the dark liquid by-product of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. Blackstrap molasses contains high amounts of iron and copper, which are essential for iron utilization. This leads to the reproduction of red blood cells as well as blood circulation, which is vital for anemic patients.
  5. Alfalfa
    Alfalfa contains high amounts of vitamin K, which is helpful in promoting normal blood clotting and preventing blood loss in women with excessive menstrual flow.
  6. Burdock root
    Burdock root has long use to strengthen and purify the blood. It is high in iron, which is important for anemia. It also helps increase hemoglobin levels, which are decrease in people with anemia.
  7. Nettle leaves
    Nettle has use for centuries to treat wounds and to slow bleeding and menstrual bleeding. It works like vitamin K by reducing excessive blood flow during menstruation. It is also high in iron and to stimulate the production of hemoglobin.

B. Treatment of Anemia with Chinese Herbs

  1. Chinese wild yam
    Wild yam has the same properties as DHEA and acts as a precursor to human sex hormones. Chinese wild yam extract has used to treat painful menstruation, hot flashes, and other symptoms due to menstruation. In fact, it also helps reduce levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  2. Cinnamon bark
    CB has been use in the past as a digestive aid and to promote blood purifier. Cinnamon contains a large amount of antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system. Moreover, this is important for people with anemia who have a weakened immune system caused by low levels of oxygen in the blood.
  3. Dang Shen (Codonopsis)
    Dang Shen has been used in Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system against bacteria and viruses for more than a century. It is also a blood booster. Dang Shen was used in Chinese medicine as a blood purifier to stimulate red blood cell production and improve energy.
  4. Fu Ling (Poria)
    Filling is said to contain the substance that helps increase secretion of DHEA. A steroid hormone that helps divert levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  5. Dang Gui (Chinese angelica roots)
    Dang Qui is a blood purifier. It has been widely used in women who have had perioa or blood loss during childbirth or other chronic illness. It is said that Dang Qui not only stimulates the bone marrow to produce blood and red blood cells to replace blood loss, but also reduces painful menstruation, hot flashes, and other symptoms due to menstruation.

C. Treatment of Anemia With Vitamins and Minerals

  1. Iron
    Iron is important for people with anemia. It supports the reproduction of red blood cells, improves the transport of oxygen and food to the body cells and removes carbon dioxide from our bloodstream. Since iron is difficult to absorb, it is recommended that you take the liquid form over the dry form and take it with some vitamin C, otherwise most of the iron will be wasted due to poor intestinal absorption. If you are a nursing mom, do your blood tests for iron. Otherwise, iron deficiency will lead to iron deficiency in the baby.
  2. Copper and Zinc
    Copper and zinc may not important in treating people with anemia, but they are need help our bodies absorb iron. Without balancing the iron, copper, and zinc, most of the iron’s effects are waste. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the right amount of iron, zinc, and copper before ingesting any of the above metals. They are poisonous when overdosed.

3. vitamin K.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. It plays an important role for people with anemia by helping blood to clot after an injury, which is crucial for people with anemia caused by excessive blood loss, such as women giving birth and menstruating.

  1. Vitamin C.
    Vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system in the fight against the invasion of bacteria and viruses. Due to the poor reproduction and blood flow in people with anemia, strengthening the immune system is vital. Vit C also helps improve iron absorption, otherwise most of the iron absorption may wasted.
  2. Vitamin B12
    Vit B12 is important for people with pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency anemia).
    However, Vitamin B12 deficiency is mainly caused inadequate absorption, poor diet, and drug side effects resulting in large immature and dysfunctional red blood cells, thereby reducing red blood cell counts and hemoglobin levels.
  3. Folic acid
    Folic acid belongs to the B vitamin family. It is necessary for the formation and maturation of red blood cells. Moreover, Folic acid deficiency is mainly cause poor diet, inadequate body absorption, and in people who only eat cooked foods, which leads lower red blood cells in the bloodstream or folic acid deficiency anemia.

D. Treatment of Anemia With Additions

  1. DHEA
    DHEA is the abbreviated name of dehydroepiandrosterone. It is a steroid hormone madeby the adrenal glands that helps reduce the level of cytokine inflammation that harms red blood cell protein production.
  2. Spirulina
    Spirulina is high in iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, which are essential for people with anemia.
    It also contains high levels of vitamin C, which helps iron absorption and strengthens the immune system. In addition to increasing the levels of oxygen in the blood, spirulina helps remove carbon dioxide from our cells, which is vital for people with nutrient deficiency anemia.
  3. Lactoferrin
    Lactoferrin improves iron absorption and protects our body from the negative and oxidative effects of excess iron. It can reduce or eliminate the side effects of nausea and constipation caused by iron supplementation. It also has beneficial effects in regulating the immune system and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial antiviral and antioxidant effects. The study shows that lactoferrin increases the absorption and use of iron and would be useful for preventing iron deficiency anemia.
  4. Bee pollen
    Bee pollen contains high amounts of protein, B-complex vitamins and folic acid, which are important nutritional supplements for anemia sufferers. It is also believe improve the digestive process and hemoglobin levels in some anemic patients. It has used in Chinese medicine for over thousands of years to treat many types of chronic diseases as well as for longevity.
  5. Hydrochloric acid
    HA intake is required in people with megaloblastic anemia due to a lack of the intrinsic factor such poor iron and supplement intake. Hydrochloric acid helps the lining of the stomach take up protein and transport it to the tissues of the body.

What’s Anemia? Learn more about Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments etc.