Health Post – Anemia…What/How and What you can do about it.

25% of the world’s population have some level Anemia and half of this number is due to Iron deficiency! It is more serious than you think but what causes it? There could be internal bleeding; low levels of Vitamin B12 in the blood; kidney problems can cause it as well as thyroid problems; also different infections and diseases including some forms of cancer and problems with the pathology of the bone marrow (which is the site that produces red blood cells).

Some people think that a symptom of cold hands is due to Anemia but this is false.

We need about 20 m/grams of iron per day, although we only absorb about 10% of this. Men lose 1 m/gram a day through excretion while women lose twice that through menstruation. We have about 4 grams of iron within our body. If you have a low iron count through a blood test it is best to have a thorough examination to eliminate the more sinister reasons such as internal bleeding or cancer. For men this exam should include a check of their bowels and in women the exam should also check their reproductive system. (A note here that if a man has a high iron level it is due to internal inflammation and therefore they should have a thorough check of the circulatory system because of the greater risk of Heart Disease).

Iron is absorbed from red meat far more easily than it is from green fruits and vegetables, such as apples, spinich and broccoli (about 50% of itsabsorbable content as compared to 100% with meat). Absorption of iron is compromised if you eat calcium-rich foods, so if you are low in iron in particular don’t mix these two food groups. Also if you drink strong tea when wishing to increase your iron, it also compromises iron absorption. (Iron does not come from eggs because of their high calcium content). If you need iron to be absorbed more effectively, eat oranges as part of your meal because they contain Vitamin C…

Being constantly tired and having leg cramps can be a sign of low iron, so have a blood test to discount this. To restore iron levels it takes at least 6 weeks, but complete restoration of iron levels can take 6 months. If you take medication for hyper acidity this will compromise the absorption of iron. 70% of the population cannot absorb the iron from iron tablets, so be aware of this if you think that taking these will help restore your iron levels. (These tablets also have negative side effects such as bloating and constipation). The ideal way to immediately boost your iron levels is by intravenous injection (intramuscular is not so effective).

If children (or even adults) eat chalk or want to suck ice cubes or chew paper, it is another sign of low iron. If your pee is a red color after eating beetroot (and it normally isn’t because 10% of the population do) this is yet another sign of low iron.

As I stated above, this is a greater problem to general health than you would primarily think and it is worth considering if you are a Vegan vegetarian because the body’s levels of iron will drop to critical levels eventually. Some populations throughout the world are complete vegetarians, but their bodies have adapted to this over many generations. There is a balance in everything, including your health. Question everything…

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