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Iron-Deficiency Anemia: How to Treat It

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If you are suffering from anemia caused by a deficiency in iron, it may be very hard or even impossible to cure this chronic health issue. Iron-deficiency anemia deprives the cells of oxygen needed for the basic functions of the body. Thus, it is very important to immediately identify and treat this condition

Iron-deficiency anemia, what is it?

There are several types of anemia; iron-deficiency anemia, however, is the number one type of anemia and the leading cause of nutritional deficiency in the United States. Iron is needed by the body to create hemoglobin, a component of blood cells that contains oxygen. When the body is low in iron, it creates fewer and smaller red blood cells. Red blood cell deficiency results in the body not being supplied with adequate amounts of oxygen.

Why is oxygen important to the body?

If the body has a sufficient amount of oxygen in it, it functions in a healthy manner. Human cells all contain tiny power plants in them known as mitochondria. These mitochondria are responsible for the manufacture of ATP or adenosine triphosphate, the molecule that houses and releases energy. ATP is needed for a number of very important physiological processes including cellular communication, removal or disposal of toxins and waste, conversion of food to energy, removal of old tissue and creation of new ones. Healthy ATP production and mitochondrial function are integral in the prevention and healing of diseases. They all need oxygen to perform normally.

What are the factors that cause iron-deficiency anemia?

Poor iron absorption – A person suffering from celiac disease is usually also deficient in iron. This inflames and damages the small intestines making it unable to properly absorb food nutrients. Green leafy vegetables, eggs and meat can help increase iron levels in your body.

Pregnancy – As the fetus inside a pregnant woman grows, the mother needs to maintain adequate supply of iron both for herself and for her baby

Chronic loss of blood – Blood loss can occur due to frequent intake of aspirin, cancer, hemorrhoids, uterine fibroids, severe menstrual bleeding and ulcers.

Iron-deficiency anemia symptoms

The best way to know if you are suffering from iron-deficiency anemia is through a functional blood chemistry panel. This diagnostic test will observe your iron markers and entire blood count.

Some of the symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia include:

-Concentration difficulties
-Shortness of breath
-Pale gums, nail beds and skin
-Crankiness or grumpiness

Proper management of iron-deficiency anemia

In order to treat the symptoms caused by iron-deficiency anemia as well as address its underlying cause, repairing the gut and avoiding gluten is important. If you are required to take iron supplements, you need to select one that your body can properly absorb and will not cause constipation and stomach ache. Consult your doctor for advice.

Avoid iron toxicity

As mentioned earlier, there are several forms of anemia including anemia resulting from an autoimmune disease, inflammation or B12 deficiency. If you take iron supplements for anemia that does not require the intake of such supplements, it can elevate your iron levels to the point of toxicity. So, properly identify what type of anemia you have first before taking steps to resolve it.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

Written by Valerie

February 18th, 2015 at 2:03 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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